Con Ed must pay just under a quarter-million dollars after agreeing to a settlement with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said that the power utility had violated the city’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law for nearly 500 part-time workers and student interns during the pandemic.
Mayuga noted the power utility must pay $202,000 to 480 part-time student employees, and has also been slapped with a $40,000 fine for not providing sick time leave for the interns during a three-year period from June 2018 to June 2021.
Mayuga said that “all workers—whether part-time or full-time, deserve fair treatment in their workplaces, including the use of paid leave to care for themselves or a loved one or to seek social services. Employers, we will not allow you to violate our city’s laws.” She also noted that the company did not have a policy on the books for paying part-time student workers until December of 2020, skirting the requirement to inform workers of their rights.
Con Edison told Straus News that it “has voluntarily entered into an agreement” with the DCWP over the claims. “This resolution demonstrates our deep commitment to advance the rights of our employees,” the company said.
The case against Con Ed was run by Investigator Haley Shaffer, Staff Counsel Beth Potter, and Director of Investigations Shane Ross of DCWP’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards, under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Wagoner.
The press release noted that the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law has a thorough history of violations since its enactment in 2014, with 3,450 complaints filed and almost $21 million in fees or restitution provided for over 60,000 workers. Con Ed is only the latest NYC corporation among many that has been hit with violations.
The company further added that “Con Edison will address the issues identified by the DCWP and take affirmative steps to ensure that managers and co-op interns are aware of their rights and obligations under the City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.”