June 12, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $3 Million in Prevailing Wage Underpayments Recovered in First Three Months of 2017

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $3 Million...

More Than 60 Percent Increase in Recovered Wages Over Same Period Last Year

Money Returned to More Than 1,300 Workers

14 Businesses Debarred From Participation in Public Work Projects


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3,137,910 in wages and interest during the first quarter of 2017, has been returned to 1,367 workers as a result of prevailing wage enforcement efforts by the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, more than $125,500 in civil penalties have been assessed against employers in violation of prevailing wage law and 14 individuals or business entities have been debarred since the beginning of the year.

"This administration stands with all hard-working men and women, and we will fight tirelessly to ensure a fair day's pay for a fair day's work," Governor Cuomo said. "We have zero tolerance for those who seek to skirt the law and deny workers what they are owed, and these actions bring us one step closer to a more fair and just New York for all."

These figures represent a 62 percent increase over last year’s total money returned for January-March. In 2016, $1,936,000 was returned to 1,109 workers and nine entities were debarred.

Prevailing wage is the pay rate set by law for work on public work projects. This applies to all laborers, workers or mechanics employed under a public work contract. The New York State Department of Labor's Bureau of Public Work is responsible for enforcing the law and determining the wage schedule for each individual region. Employers must pay the prevailing wage rate set for the locality where the work is performed.

Should a violation of the law occur, the Department of Labor has the authority to ban an individual or business entity from bidding on public work projects for a period of up to five years.

Below is the regional breakdown of first quarter recoveries:


Amount Disbursed


Capital Region



Central NY



Finger Lakes



Long Island



Mid-Hudson Valley



Mohawk Valley



New York City



North Country



Southern Tier



Western NY







"Those who disparage prevailing wage laws fail to recognize that you get what you pay for," said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. "Prevailing wage laws ensure that contractors compete based on skill, productivity and experience, removing the incentive to exploit workers in an effort to minimize costs. The Department of Labor is proud to enforce these important protections."

For more information on prevailing wage in New York State, please visit: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/publicwork/PWContents.shtm

For debarment information, including a list of debarred businesses, please visit: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/publicwork/PWDebarmentInformation.shtm

Contact the Governor's Press Office