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Know Your Rights
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announces plan to appeal strike-down of prevailing wage law

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and a slew of Council members announced plans to appeal a court ruling that struck down the Council’s prevailing wage legislation.

The law requires a “prevailing wage” be paid to all building service employees at economic development projects that receive more than $1 million in discretionary financial assistance. It also covers buildings where the city leases at least 10,000 square feet and a majority of the space.

The court found the law was preempted by state minimum wage laws.

“It’s getting harder and harder for middle-class families to afford to stay in New York City,” said Ms. Quinn, also a leading mayoral candidate. “That’s why I’m proud to have passed this prevailing wage bill, making sure that taxpayer dollars are used to create jobs that pay good middle-class wages, and why we will move quickly to appeal this decision.”

Ms. Quinn said the legislation isn’t about changing minimum wage, but about setting standards for those who lease space to the city or accept economic development subsidies.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the law – the Council overrode his veto – and was among those cheering the court ruling striking it down Monday.

In addition to multiple Council members, also supporting the appeal of the court’s ruling were Hector Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU; Javier Valdes, co-Executive director of Make the Road New York, and Paul Sonn, legal co-director at the National Employment Law Project.

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