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Construction workers know your rights: prevailing wage rates and benefits

Construction workers know your rights

North American Iron Works has to pay construction workers over $872,000 in back pay after an investigation by city Controller Scott Stringer according to NY Daily News. Stringer’s office enforces the prevailing wage law and started an investigation when it received a tip from a worker complaining about low pay.

Over thirty construction workers, mostly Guyanese immigrants received back pay totaling approximately $1 million, which consisted of $872,000 in wages and benefits and $52,311 in interest and $46,208 in penalties. This is why it is important to know what pay you are entitled to. The workers should have received a prevailing wage rate of about $40 an hour which is mandated by law for people hired for city projects, instead of the $16 an hour they were paid, stated Stringer.

The North American Iron Works employees worked on city schools and the Queens Museum from 2010 to 2012, and their payments ranged from $382 to $73,801.

Prevailing wage is the wage and benefit rate set by law for each trade or occupation for employees of contractors performing public works projects and building service work for government agencies. The prevailing wage rates for construction workers who work on New York City public works projects can be found in the Comptroller’s Labor Law 220 schedules.

Here is a list of the prevailing wages and benefits for construction employees working on NYC government projects:

Asbestos Handlers

$36.00 hourly wages & $15.45 hourly benefits

Iron Workers (Ornamental)

$42.70 hourly wages & $45.77 hourly benefits

Laborers (Mason Tenders)

$36.05 hourly wages & $26.74 hourly benefits


$49.88 hourly wages & $44.10 hourly benefits

Laborers (Excavation)

$39.85 hourly wages & $34.88 hourly benefits


$39.50 hourly wages & $26.12 hourly benefits

Electricians (A)

$53.00 hourly wages & $47.54 hourly benefits

Laborers (Pavers & Roadbuilders)

$40.32 hourly wages & $35.15 hourly benefits


$65.27 hourly wages & $25.78 hourly benefits

*Rates effective: JULY 1, 2014 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2015

If you work or have worked in one of these positions for a government contractor and you believe you were not compensated according to the law, contact the Bureau of Labor Law at (212) 669-4443.


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