Cuomo reaches agreement with carnival operator

Keith Loria Aug. 31, 2009, 1:30pm

Andrew Cuomo (D)

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - After an extensive investigation into labor and civil rights violations of a carnival operator, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that his office reached an agreement with the company to change its policies and procedures regarding the laws.

Complaints from workers accused Dreamland Amusements Inc. of denying its workers minimum wage and overtime and discriminating against its Mexican employees.

The agreement calls for Dreamland to pay its workers $325,000 in back wages, ensure that housing for employees meets basic hygienic requirements, and train its managers to treat employees equally regardless of race, national origin, or citizenship.

The company has also agreed to substantially reform its employment practices, and will retain an independent monitor, which will conduct unannounced visits to Dreamland's work sites and provide regular reports to the attorney general's office.

"This company not only denied its employees the pay they had earned-but abused and manipulated a system in place to help foreign-born workers build lives for themselves and their families," said the Democratic attorney general. "They consistently violated this state's civil and labor rights and exploited the most vulnerable in their workforce. Today's agreement will deliver welcome restitution to the workers who were cheated, as well as send a message to other employers statewide that abuses of their employees come with a price tag."

As a result of this investigation, Cuomo is contacting other traveling carnival operators operating in New York State to advise them of their legal obligations to comply with federal, state and local laws providing for minimum and overtime wages, statements of hours worked and wages paid, sanitary housing, safe workplaces, and equal treatment regardless of race, national origin, citizenship, or other protected classifications.

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