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Contractor paying back wages to Sandy cleanup employees

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

InStar Services Group has agreed to pay $65,000 in back wages to more than 100 employees who did not receive the pay they were promised for cleaning up after Superstorm Sandy.

The Michigan company subcontracted the work to Tennessee-based LA Con­­struction, which hired the workers to clean up four retail establishments decimated by the storm. They came from Upstate New York, lured by the promise of $14 per hour, plus hotel accommodations.

Instead, several workers told stories of sleeping in their cars. Often, they were not paid or arrived at jobs to find other workers had been hired to do the same work. Per diem payments often did not materialize and workers were forced to eat at Red Cross kitchens set up to serve storm victims.

InStar settled after the New York Attorney General cited it for violating New York State labor law and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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