Queens construction companies swindled painters out of $370,000 | amNewYork

Queens construction companies swindled painters out of $370,000

Three Queens construction companies have pleaded guilty to withholding more than $370,000 from 150 workers, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The companies, Lotus-C Corporation of Jackson Heights, Johnco Contracting Inc. of Bayside, and RCM Painting Inc. of Maspeth, failed to provide workers with overtime wages between 2012 and 2017. Additionally, the employers had the workers, who were painters, sign a form stating that they were independent contractors instead of employees, the attorney general said.

“Led by pure greed, the defendants in this case attempted to sidestep the law — misclassifying their employees as a way to stiff them on the overtime pay they rightfully earned,” he said in a statement.

The companies also underreported their staff numbers to the state, which resulted in major underpayment of unemployment contributions to the state, Schneiderman said.

As part of their plea deal the owners of the companies have dissolved their offices and are banned for five years from bidding on public works contracts in New York State. They will also pay a total of $371,447.01 for unpaid wages and $359,747.86 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the State Department of Labor, the attorney general said.

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