Sunday, June 8, 2008

Court Upholds Right to Sue for Wage Underpayments

ALBANY, N.Y. The state's highest court has upheld the right of construction workers to sue contractors for federally funded work on public housing projects in New York.

The contracts with the New York City Housing Authority under federal law required paying workers at least the prevailing wages in their locality as determined by the U.S. Labor Department.

The Court of Appeals Thursday upheld the right of workers to sue in state courts for breach of contract for underpayments. The judges unanimously rejected contractor arguments of federal pre-emption, noting there are no administrative or court remedies for the workers under the federal Housing Act, and no prohibition to state court claims.

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