The owners of Onward Construction in Queens have pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of failing to pay their employees. The company quit paying its seven workers in March 2011.
In all, they owed workers $18,680 by the end of September 2012. They also owed more than $2,000 in back unemployment insurance.
New York City police officers arrested the owners and charged them with two felony counts of larceny in the fourth degree, plus 13 misdemeanor counts of failure to pay wages, failure to pay unemployment insurance contributions and tax fraud in the fifth degree.
Under their plea agreement, the owners will serve no prison time, but must perform five days of community service.
Note: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made it clear in a press statement that his office takes failure to pay employees very seriously. “The most basic right of an employee is the right to be paid for your work, and in New York failing to pay wages is a criminal act,” he said.