IMMIGRANT LABOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN LEADS TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF LAWLESS BUSHWICK EMPLOYER
Contact: Andrew Friedman (English and Spanish): 718.418.7690 x 208, or 718.809.7158 (cell)
For Immediate Release
One of the many Brooklyn employers who has been forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in back wages, and to respect his workers' rights by the Despierta Bushwick Campaign, pleads guilty to a criminal misdemeanor.
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced today that the owner of a Brooklyn greengrocer store has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to pay overtime wages. He was ordered to pay restitution to underpaid employees.
Heung S. Park, the owner of S&S Farm, had previously entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with the Attorney General's Office. In February 2005, Park agreed to pay restitution of $28,852 in back wages and damages to his employees for the year 2004 and January 2005. He also agreed to comply with all labor laws in the future and to institute certain employment practices to benefit employees.
While Park paid the money due under the agreement, he continued to fail to pay overtime wages, thereby violating both the law and the Assurance that he had signed.
"The days of impunity are over for exploitative Bushwick employers. Workers and consumers in our community are standing together and demanding and winning just wages and fair treatment for our neighbors," said Nieves Padilla, Workplace Justice Project Organizer at Make the Road by Walking.
Park, pleaded guilty to one count of Failure to Pay Wages in Accordance with New York State Labor Law § 662(2), a class B misdemeanor. He also admitted that he failed to pay employees properly for work performed from March of 2005 until March of 2006.
Interviews with affected workers available upon request
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.