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District Attorney

Posted on: March 7, 2014

Queens Janitorial Company Ordered to Pay More than $94K in Back Wages and Unemployment Insurance

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a Queens janitorial company was ordered on March 6 to pay six employees back wages totaling more than $38,000 and more than $56,000 in unemployment insurance to the New York State Department of Labor. Ashland Building Services, Inc., of Sunnyside, was ordered by Nassau County District Court Judge Tricia Ferrell to pay $38,264.50 in overtime wages and $56,463.77 in unemployment insurance. The payment order resulted from the company’s guilty plea on March 6 to the charge of Failure to Pay Wages (an unclassified misdemeanor) secured by DA Rice’s Labor Unit. “Hardworking men and women who put in more than 40 hours a week are entitled to be paid overtime,” DA Rice said. “My office is dedicated to routing out those employers who cheat their employees out of their hard-earned wages – as well as prosecuting companies who attempt to avoid the Unemployment Insurance Tax by paying workers off-the-books.” DA Rice’s Labor Unit conducted the investigation after receiving a complaint from a former employee stating that she had been underpaid by Ashland. DA investigators interviewed the complaining witness, as well as other employees of Ashland and determined that Ashland failed to pay time and one-half for overtime to six employees for janitorial services provided at the I-Park Office Complex in Lake Success. The investigation also uncovered a large off-the-books payroll for which the company was not paying the proper contribution to the State’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. An audit conducted by the New York State Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Division determined that the company underpaid its contributions by $56,463.77. Assistant District Attorney Richard Balletta, chief of DA Rice’s Labor Unit, is prosecuting the case. Ashland Building Services, Inc. is represented by Lowenstein Sandler LLP. ###

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