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Workers get double wages in settlement with employer

September 10, 2012:  After not getting paid for their last few weeks on the job, five construction workers called the Public Justice Center. They had worked on an addition to the Wal-Mart on Route 40 in Ellicott City, but their employer, Nucon, Inc., had failed to pay them their wages. They believed they were owed more than $7,000 for the work they performed – money they needed to pay rent and buy groceries.

The PJC’s Skadden Fellow Jonathan Harris recognized that these workers might be eligible for a mechanic’s lien, which would give the workers a security interest in the Wal-Mart property until the wage debt had been paid. With the help of experts in the field, the PJC’s Workplace Justice Project quickly drafted and sent notices to various Wal-Mart entities to inform them of the workers’ intent to claim a lien, as required under the mechanic’s lien law. We further indicated that the workers would have additional statutory damages under applicable wage laws.  

Worker with check

In mid-July, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the workers that requested a mechanic’s lien be placed on the Wal-Mart property and sought damages under the Workplace Fraud Act, Wage Payment and Collection Law, and Wage and Hour Law. 
With a mechanic’s lien hearing set for September 11th, the parties achieved settlement the day before the hearing. The workers will receive double their claimed wages. The first half, their full back wages, was paid out in late September. 

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