Immigrants sue Connecticut construction company for unpaid wages

Nick Rees Dec. 24, 2008, 1:00am

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Thirty-four immigrants have sued a Connecticut construction company in federal court over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

National Carpentry Contractors, Inc. of Stamford, Conn., as well as several company officials is named in the suit, which stems from unpaid wages for construction work on a luxury condominium development.

National Carpentry Contractors is alleged to have hired the plaintiffs, promising a wage of $13 an hour, but only paid them $10 an hour. The company claimed the other $3 per hour went for taxes and benefits.

The company also did not pay overtime despite many of the plaintiffs working 65 to 70 hour work weeks, the attorney general's office claims.

The plaintiffs, who have not been paid since June of this year despite promises otherwise, are owed between two and eight weeks pay for their work. The plaintiffs are seeking double their unpaid wages, attorney fees and costs.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has stated his intention to support or intervene in the lawsuit, contacting the state Department of Labor officials to coordinate.

"Today's action requires courage and integrity by immigrants, overcoming fears about their own safety and security, to report wrongdoing," the Democratic attorney general said. "Whether or not they were actually undocumented, their employer perceived them as vulnerable and thought they could be exploited.

National Carpentry Contractors allegedly hired the plaintiffs -- virtually all of them Connecticut residents -- to perform construction work on a luxury condominium development in the Stamford area.

More News