NJ tells businesses in Newark and West Caldwell to stop work at school

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — State officials have halted work on a school construction project in Middlesex County that involves businesses in Newark and West Caldwell, authorities said Wednesday.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) said it issued stop work orders to general contractor Bismark Construction Corp. of Newark and subcontractor Concrete Solutions NJLLC of West Caldwell, who were working on a construction site at John Faber School in Dunellen. .

According to an NJDOL statement:

“NJDOL Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance Division investigators conducted a site inspection on September 28 and issued the stop work notices on September 29 to the two contractors working at 400 High Street. Bismark Construction Corp. was cited for hiring an unregistered subcontractor, while Concrete Solutions NJLLC was cited for not registering. Subpoenas were issued to both companies to produce time and payroll records.

“In recent years, NJDOL has identified an alarming trend of unregistered contractors and worker exploitation in school construction projects,” said Joseph Petrecca, assistant commissioner for the Division of Wages and Hours and contract compliance.

“We work closely with our education partners at national and local levels to ensure they are aware of their obligations under the law – not only to protect workers from exploitation, but also to prevent honest employers to be ousted. by unfair competition at the expense of workers,” said Petrecca.

According to state officials, NJDOL — along with its partners in the Local Government Services Division of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Department of Education — sent a letter reminding local governments and school boards their responsibilities under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, which requires the payment of minimum wage rates to laborers, artisans and apprentices employed on public works projects.

Construction contractors performing public works must also participate in a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Program, ensuring taxpayer dollars also invest in New Jersey’s future workforce.

State officials added:

“In May 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law giving NJDOL the authority to immediately stop work on any public or private job site – construction and non-construction sites – when an initial investigation finds evidence that the employer violated any state pay. , benefits or tax laws. An employer may appeal a stop work order, in which case NJDOL has seven days to schedule a hearing. NJDOL continues to monitor locations where stop work orders have been issued and can impose civil penalties of $5,000 per day on an employer conducting activities in violation of the order. The stop work order may be lifted if and when the remaining back wages and penalties have been paid and all related issues have been resolved.

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