Idaho Temp Firm Settles Sandy-Scam Allegations
An Idaho-based temporary staffing service that set up shop in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, neglected to register with New Jersey's Division of Community Affairs and owed back pay to 13 storm-cleanup hirees agrees to pay $27,800 to the state to settle claims against it.
According to information from the office of New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, Command Center, Inc., will dedicate $10,000 of the sum to the American Red Cross's storm relief efforts. The company had previously reached terms with state labor officials to pay $2,844 in wages owed to the 13 temps.
State officials say that the company hired through temporary offices in Newark and Paterson between November 2012 and mid-March 2013, assigning people to Sandy cleanup details for third-party employers.
Investigations began, said Hoffman, after complaints of pay discrepancies surfaced not long after the company began operations.
New Jersey Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths, in a statement issued today, noted that reviewing and verifying each complaint became time-consuming, "...but we were pleased to conclude our end of this matter earlier this fall by getting each of the 13 workers their back-pay in full."
"The post-Sandy recovery effort has attracted a number of businesses to New Jersey. We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that any out-of-state company seeking to do business here, from home improvement contractors to temp firms, will comply with New Jersey's laws or face significant penalties," said Hoffman in a prepared release.
The DCA settlement also includes civil penalties amounting to $15,000 and about $2,800 for investigative expenses. Command Center, Inc., has left the state and cannot reopen without registering. In return, the company offered no admission of liability. Investigators note that the company complied fully.
Temporary employment agencies have numerous obligations to be registered in New Jersey, including the retention of a $1,000 bond.
If you think you've been scammed or a victim of consumer abuse, the DCA carries information on its web page, http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/outreach, and its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Division-of-Consumer-Affairs/112957465445651. The agency also maintains helplines: 800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200.