- The New York City Comptroller's office has reached a settlement deal for $364,000 with contractor Beacon Restoration after the city agency determined that Beacon had "cheated" 24 immigrant workers out of proper wages and benefits on a city roofing project, SILive.com reported.
- The Department of Environmental Protection began an investigation in 2011 after a worker complained about low wages — a claim that the agency said it verified after a review of Beacon's records.
- As a result of the settlement, Beacon is not permitted to participate in public works projects in the state of New York for five years.
The comptroller's office said Beacon presented signed worker releases stating that each worker been paid in full, but further investigation determined that Beacon had fabricated payment records to make it look as though it was paying workers the required wages. Comptroller Scott Stringer said Beacon "robbed and exploited" the workers and used the action against Beacon to send a warning to other contractors that the city "has no tolerance" for such treatment of workers.
Just this week, the San Jose Mercury News reported that an employee of a Tesla subcontractor performing work on its auto painting facility filed a lawsuit against Tesla, the general contractor and the subcontractor for paying lower-than-promised wages. Other workers joined also said they were paid only $5 an hour instead of the promised $55 an hour. Elon Musk took to Twitter to defend Tesla and posted documentation he said proves the company was told workers would be paid $55 an hour.
In November, The New York Times reported that immigrants represented a "disproportionate" percentage of workers killed on construction sites in New York, primarily because they were hesitant to speak up about safety conditions due to their legal status. An April AFL-CIO report found that Latino construction worker deaths increased 32% between 2010 and 2014 and that Latino (233) and immigrant (217) construction deaths were the highest of any industry.