DA: Company to pay $38G to workers cheated of overtime

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A Queens janitorial company has to pay six employees back wages of more than $38,000 and more than $56,000 in unemployment insurance to the state Department of Labor, the Nassau County district attorney said Friday.

Ashland Building Services Inc., of Sunnyside, was ordered by District Judge Tricia Ferrell to pay $38,264.50 in overtime wages and $56,463.77 in unemployment insurance, the office of District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a news release.

The payment order is a result of the company pleading guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay wages secured by the district attorney's labor unit.

A complaint from a former employee of the janitorial service generated the investigation by the office's labor unit, the release said.

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Investigators determined that Ashland failed to pay time-and-a-half overtime pay to six employees for janitorial services provided at the I-Park Office Complex in Lake Success.

The investigation also uncovered a large off-the-books payroll for which the company was not paying its proper contribution to the state Unemployment Insurance Fund. An audit found the company underpaid its contributions by $56,463.77.

Rice said in the release that workers are "entitled to be paid overtime" and that her office would prosecute companies that "cheat their employees out of hard-earned wages."

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