From the NY Times:
During the city’s recent construction boom, developers could not build fast enough to meet the demand for luxury housing and hotels, contractors had more work than they could handle and many union workers made a lot of money.
But according to a civil suit filed Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, one contractor routinely shortchanged hundreds of immigrant workers and forced them to work as many as 70 hours a week. The contractor, Michael Mahoney, chief executive of EMC Construction, instituted a three-tiered wage rate in which Irish workers were paid $25 an hour, African-Americans about $18 and Latino employees $15, the suit says.
The lawsuit is seeking $4 million in wages and overtime pay from ECM and Mr. Mahoney’s other companies as well as an end to discriminatory practices.
The workers did concrete and carpentry work for ECM and other companies controlled by Mr. Mahoney at about 10 hotel and condominium sites in Manhattan, several of them owned by Sam Chang, a prolific developer who emerged in recent years as the budget hotel king of New York.