Prevailing wage is the wage and benefit rate set annually by the New York City Comptroller for each trade or occupation for employers performing public works projects and building service work on New York City government-funded work sites as well as service employees of properties benefitting from various tax abatements. programs.
Landlords of buildings who benefit from tax exemptions of a property with 50 or more units holding the 421-a (15) certificate of the previous program or a property with 30 or more units holding a 421-a (16) AKA Affordable New York, shall ensure that all building service employees performing work in the building are paid no less than the prevailing wage rates listed in Comptroller’s prevailing wage schedule for the duration of the 421a benefits.
Additionally, all employees working in the 421a designated building must be paid the prevailing wage supplement or be provided benefits valued at that rate. All employees must be provided sick time, vacation time, overtime pay, and all other benefits contained in the Controlling Collective Bargaining Agreement for that area with the prevailing wage unions.
It is crucial to comply since violations will result in revocation of the 421A benefits (exempt taxes will be charged retroactively), and the building will be subject to the rent-stabilization requirements, even without the 421a benefits.
Furthermore, the Comptroller’s Office will penalize owners by requiring paying back wages and supplements found to be due for two years back, and also pay interest at an annual rate of not less than 6% for those wages.
When a building or contractor in a building receives a notice of possible violation of prevailing wage laws, it is imperative that a representative with experience be hired to handle the investigation to best protect the interests of the parties and protect the building’s 421a designation. Now more than ever building owners and their contractors must be diligent in their time keeping records and in their pay policies to ensure absolute compliance with the statute. When in doubt, do not guess. Ask for professional advice.