After allegedly being paid wages as low as $3.90 per hour, skycaps contracted with Alstate Maintenance LLC, a contractor operating at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, will receive restitution and damages under a settlement reached with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday.
The settlement totals $925,000, all of which will be given to workers. Restitution will be paid in the amount of $625,000. The additional $300,000 will be paid in damages.
“I am committed to combating wage theft wherever and whenever we see it,” Schneiderman said.
The investigation into the low pay began after employees filed complaints with the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. The investigation covered a time period of 2008 to 2014 when minimum wage requirements ranged from $7.15 to $8 per hour.
Skycaps receive tips, but Alstate did not qualify for a tip credit that would allow them to pay below the minimum wage.
The state also alleged that Alstate required the skycaps to launder their mandatory uniforms. Under New York labor laws if the cost of laundering reduces pay below the minimum wage, the employer must provide laundering facilities or pay a set amount to cover the expense.
Under the settlement, Alstate will be required to make changes to meet New York labor laws.