WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. May 4, 2018:
County Executive George Latimer has written a letter to the President of Caspi Development urging him to rehire the seven dismissed Service Employees International Union 32BJ in a letter made public today. Here is the copy of that letter:
Steven J. Caspi, President Caspi Development Company
120 Bloomingdale Road, Suite 105 White Plains, New York 10605
Dear Mr. Caspi:
As County Executive of Westchester County, I am writing to express my concern regarding allegations that your new contractor may have violated County law in its handling of events at the office towers on 234-235 Main Street in White Plains.
On April 2, 2018, seven office cleaners at the office towers lost their jobs following the hiring of a new cleaning contractor, Integrated Building Management. Integrated Building Management allegedly did not inform the workers or their union, SEIU 32BJ, about the expiration of their contract.
I understand that contractors change due to the implicit nature of contracted work; but such changes are often detrimental to workers. Jurisdictions such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia have enacted displaced worker laws; Westchester County’s displaced worker law was signed into law nearly five years ago to similarly aid workers and their families.
Pursuant to Chapter 580 of the laws of Westchester County, the Displaced Service Employees Protection Law, “successor employers,” or employers that terminate a service contract and hire new service employees as its direct employees to perform services that are substantially similar within 90 days after a service contract is terminated or canceled, “…must retain each affected service employee at a covered location for sixty (60) days or until its service contract is terminated, whichever is earlier.”
Additionally pursuant to this law, “service employees who are discharged or otherwise not retained in violation of this Chapter may bring an action in Supreme Court against a successor employer for any violation of any obligation imposed by Section 580.02(2),” and “…against an awarding authority for any violation of any obligation imposed by Section 580.02(1).” If the court rules in favor of one such employee, this employee is entitled to back pay, costs of benefits, a reasonable attorneys’ fee, and any damages caused by the awarding authority’s failure to comply with its obligations.
In order to resolve this dispute to the benefit of all parties, I urge you to do the right thing by encouraging Integrated Business Management to hire the seven workers.
Westchester County Executive