New York construction flaggers win “prevailing wages” union labourer construction wages class action case

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Construction Safety Flaggers on Public Works Projects Owed Unpaid Prevailing (Union) Wages by New York Appellate Court

A New York appeals court has ruled in favor of a class of flaggers who worked for Judlau Contracting Inc., a subsidiary of multi-billion dollar infrastructure contractor OHL Group, lawyers representing the flaggers say in an April 21 statement.

The court affirmed that the flaggers who worked on New York public works projects since April 26, 2011 are entitled to recover prevailing wages. The flaggers are represented by Pelton Graham, an employment law firm with offices in New York and California.

“This historic decision upholds the rights of not only the hundreds of flaggers who worked on Judlau public works projects but potentially thousands more New York flaggers who have been chronically underpaid,” the lawyers said in a statement.

More information on this decision and its implications is available here: https://peltongraham.com/prevailing-wages-for-new-york-flaggers/.

Judlau flaggers worked on a variety of public works construction projects in New York City and upstate New York, including water main, sewer, and other utility repair and maintenance projects requiring street excavation. Even though they worked alongside union construction workers who received prevailing wages, flaggers were often paid just a few dollars over minimum wage rather than the union rate.

Pelton Graham has represented the flaggers since the case was first filed in New York Supreme court in 2017. Even though the flaggers were classified by Judlau as “pedestrian crossing guards,” the flaggers demonstrated that their main responsibility was protecting the safety of the public and construction crews near the job sites and, under the guidelines from the New York City Comptroller, they should be paid as construction laborers.

After years of litigation, the court ruled in favor of the flaggers, finding that the evidence clearly showed that Judlau flaggers worked as safety flaggers and for that reason were eligible for prevailing wages for all of their work performed on New York public works construction sites, the lawyers say.

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