The Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC) announced today that they grabbed a major victory in the fight against wage theft. The case was related to a senior living center in Northbrook. The Illinois Department of Labor ordered the developer of the center and its subcontractors to pay $1.1 million back to the workers.
The Department said that the developer and its subcontractors failed to meet the state-certified wage and benefit rates. The Illinois Finance Authority issued the funds through bonds for the development of the Lodge of Northbrook. It was a 164-unit development project taken by Essex Corp. The CRCC filed charges against the developer and its subcontractors. According to the charges, Essex Corp. and its subcontractors committed a violation of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.
McShane Construction Corp. is the general subcontractor of Essex Corp. Essex Corp. made a carpentry contract with Horizon Carpentry Inc. Russ’s Drywall Inc. worked as a drywall contractor on this project. The Department of Labor ordered these companies to provide back pay to their employees. The Department ordered Horizon to provide back pay of $692000 to its employees.
According to the Department’s terms, Essex is enforced to pay $188000 to the employees while Russ’s is enforced to pay $249000 back to its employees. Gary Perinar, the executive secretary-treasurer of the CRCC, said, “Wage theft and the loss of tax revenue affects everyone.” Perinar added that many workers did not know their right to getting fair wages.
The research team of the CRCC discovered this injustice and reported it to the Illinois DOL. McShane was charged by the CRCC in 2018 but the company was not investigated during the tenure of the former governor, Bruce Rauner. Perinar thanked the Department of Labor working under Gov. JB Pritzker for carrying out an investigation of the case. Perinar said, “This is the largest back pay award we have facilitated in our Council’s history.”