Proposed Settlement in Ground Zero Area Cleaning Workers’ Wage Case
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012

A group of workers who filed class action lawsuits against several cleaning and restoration companies and their subcontractors relating to cleaning work performed in Lower Manhattan shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center announced a proposed settlement of the suits which are pending in New York State Supreme Court.

The lawsuits, originally filed in September of 2007, raised wage-and-hour claims and alleged that workers were paid a set amount per day without regard to the hours worked per week. Most of the workers involved were directly employed by small subcontractors who carried out cleaning contracts obtained by general contractors. The general contractors Maxons Restorations, Inc., Branch Construction, Milro Services Inc., Crystal Restoration Enterprises, Inc., and Cleantech Environmental Corp., will establish a fund to pay claims of workers who establish eligibility.

“Our case includes claims for prevailing wages,” said Maria Fajardo, one of the class representatives in the case against Milro Services. “In our lawsuit we claimed we were paid the same amount per hour even though we worked over 40 hours a week,” a class representative in the case against Branch Construction, Alfredo Rojas, said.

There has been no finding or admission that the defendants are liable. Defendants deny they did anything wrong and believe that all proper procedures set out by the government at the time were followed. The Defendants believe they would have been able to successfully defend against these claims if this case had gone to trial but agreed to resolve these claims to avoid the costs of continued litigation. The Plaintiffs appreciate the Defendants’ cooperation in working to achieve a settlement in this matter. This settlement, once approved, will resolve the outstanding wage-related claims for post-9/11 cleaning work alleged in the lawsuit.

An extension has been granted for sending in claim forms. Potential claimants must file claims by March 28, 2012. Potential claimants can call 1-855-529-7555 to receive a claim form. Justice Charles E. Ramos will hold a hearing on April 26, 2012, to consider final approval of the proposed settlement.

Plaintiffs are represented by The Legal Aid Society, Outten & Golden LLP, and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP.

The law firm Kaplan Belsky Ross Bartell L.L.P. represents Cleantech Environmental and can be reached at (516) 745-1100. The law firm Steinberg Fineo Berger and Fischoff represents Milro Services Inc., and can be reached at (800) 806-1136.

The law firm Kaplan Belsky Ross Bartell L.L.P. represents Cleantech Environmental and can be reached at (516) 745-1100. The law firm Steinberg Fineo Berger and Fischoff represents Milro Services Inc., and can be reached at (800) 806-1136.