Were Superstorm Sandy Cleanup Crews Underpaid?

Photo of homes damaged by a hurricane

New Jersey and other East Coast states affected by Superstorm Sandy hired contractors to repair damage to the shoreline and to prepare for the storm. Workers spent months picking up debris, dredging sand to rebuild the beaches and repairing other damage. Some workers were not paid the prevailing wage rate by these contractors. In fact, many received a fraction of what they were owed under the prevailing wage law.

There have been several lawsuits filed against contractors to recover stolen wages. Looks Great Services Inc. made $90 million in profits for its cleanup and preparation efforts on Long Island. Custom Tree Care, a subsidiary of Looks Great Services, did not pay its workers the prevailing wage. Looks Great Services paid a combined total of $137,000 to 16 Custom Tree Care workers who were underpaid for clearing debris. One of the workers employed by Custom Tree Care claimed he and others worked 12 hour days, seven days a week.

Unfortunately, this is one of many cases where contractors hired for cleanup operations after Superstorm Sandy failed to pay workers the prevailing wage. Wage theft during the cleanup efforts even attracted the attention of New Jersey lawmakers.

Were You Not Paid the Prevailing Wage Rate After Superstorm Sandy?

Workers may be misclassified as independent contractors or denied fair pay through other means. Contractors who took advantage of these workers may be held accountable for their actions. If you were involved in the cleanup or storm preparation efforts for Superstorm Sandy and believe you were underpaid, the New Jersey wage theft attorneys at Keefe Law Firm can help you explore options to recover those wages.

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