New Jersey Carpenters Union Applauds NJDOL Investigation into NJ Contractor who owes workers $1.2M in Unpaid Wages
(Edison)- The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters applauded the efforts of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) who today announced that Three Sons Restoration LLC of Union, NJ was
assessed approximately $2.75 million in back wages, penalties, and fees. This follows a NJDOL investigation into the contractor’s failure to pay its employees the state prevailing wage at six job sites.
“The announcement by the New Jersey Department of Labor that $1.2 Million will be paid to workers mistreated by Three Sons Restoration is a victory for these workers and workers’ rights in general, but also a glimpse into how severe fraud is in the construction industry,” said William C. Sproule Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters “Workers are vulnerable to contractors like Three Sons Restoration and our Union is proud of all we do to protect workers from these practices and defending a prevailing wage in New Jersey. The initial Stop Work Orders and additional follow-up by the New Jersey Department of Labor is a step in the right direction and we look forward to justice for more workers in the future.
The NJDOL further investigated Three Sons Restoration after finding wage violations at two of the contractor’s job sites in August 2019 – Maurice Hawk Elementary School in West Windsor and Bayonne Fire House, Engine 6 in Bayonne – both of which resulted in stop-work orders. These stop-work orders were the first such actions taken by the NJDOL following Governor Murphy’s expansion of the department’s enforcement authorities in July 2019.
The NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance subsequently found that, at four additional worksites located in Jersey City, Oakland, and Newark, Three Sons Restoration failed to pay appropriate prevailing wages to its employees, and, in some cases, did not compensate them at all. In total, Three Sons Restoration owes more than $1.17 million in back wages to more than 90 employees.
The two original cases are being contested at OAL; the other four were not appealed and the determination is final, and as a result, the firm has been debarred.
“These workers are doing an honest day’s work but not getting the honest day’s pay they deserve,” said Assistant Commissioner Joseph Petrecca of the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. “It is theft, and it is unlawful. Although we know the vast majority of our employers are honest, it is our job to protect our workers from those who refuse to treat their employees fairly and in accordance with the law.”
The company was also cited for various records violations and misclassification of workers on multiple projects.
As of December 2020, Three Sons Restoration has been debarred from bidding on or engaging in any public works projects in New Jersey for three years. In addition, Three Sons Restoration’s registration as a public works contractor expired in June 2020 and has not been renewed.
Per state law, any general contractors who employed Three Sons Restoration at their job sites can also be held liable for the workers’ unpaid wages.
The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters represents over 41,000 of the most skilled carpenters who live and work in Delaware, The District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and West Virginia. EAS Carpenters are trained in many different trades, including: commercial/residential carpentry; heavy highway; piledriving; floor-layering; mill cabinet work; and tradeshow construction. For more information on New Jersey’s wage and hour laws, please visit myworkrights.nj.gov