Investigation Stemmed from Notification by SEIU Local 200United
EAST SYRACUSE, NY–New York State Acting Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino announced today that $15,850 in restitution and damages has been recovered and distributed to 30 workers at Durham Bus Services, 6730 Pickard Drive, East Syracuse as a result of an investigation by the New York State Department of Labor Division of Worker Protection’s Labor Standards section. The violations at the business were brought to the Labor Department’s attention by union representatives from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200United.
“The Labor Department’s Labor Standards Division continues to yield impressive results for those who have been wronged in wage theft cases,” said Musolino. “This case is particularly important because it shows the kind of results that are achieved when unions and the department come together to protect workers. Unions are the front line of defense for workers in our state and the New York State Department of Labor stands ready to assist them in their mission.”
Bob Loftus of SEIU Local 200United, who represents the drivers and monitors at Durham Bus, notified State Labor Department investigators three years ago of violations at the East Syracuse location. Worker Protection Division officials audited the location and discovered numerous instances of worker underpayment and violations of the Wage Theft Prevention Act. The business was judged to owe $12,680.70 in wages and was assessed an additional $3,170 in liquidated damages.
This resolution is the result of Loftus and the union’s leadership relentlessly pursuing the contract’s grievance process for the last several years. When a Durham employee informed them of yet another wage theft, Durham told Loftus that the company would replace the missing money in the next paycheck. But it didn’t happen. The result was an ongoing grievance process with no resolution. It took three years, but the issue has finally been resolved.
“This has been a pervasive three-year scheme whereby the employer refused to remedy the pay issues raised by Bob Loftus,” said SEIU Local 200United President Scott Phillipson. “We were duty-bound to call our friends at the Department of Labor, who are charged with enforcing the law. They came in, investigated, and discovered what we had uncovered three years earlier. We appreciate the Department of Labor’s diligence in uncovering this wage theft. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to contact the Department of Labor again in the future because employers keep doing this.”