HIC press group

White Plains, NY — On Monday, Legislators Nancy Barr (D - Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook) and Christopher A. Johnson (D – Yonkers) introduced proposed changes to the Westchester County law for licensing home contractors. These new rules are designed to protect workers from being under-paid or not paid at all.

Barr said, “Imagine putting in a full day’s work and not getting paid for it. For many of us, it's unthinkable. How could an employer be so unscrupulous or we be so vulnerable? But sadly, in Westchester County, this is not an uncommon situation.”

Johnson said, “No employee should be exploited.  If it happens once, it happens too often. This proposal will give the county an opportunity to identify contractors who take advantage of their workers, and create a level playing field for honest contractors to compete fairly.”

Gonzalo Cruz, Executive Director, Don Bosco Workers, said, the changes “empower the county to deny home improvement licenses to any business with a history of failing to pay its workers the amount required by law. Importantly, the measure will help workers, their families, and their communities by creating new incentives for home improvement businesses to follow the law and pay workers the wages they have earned."

The proposed legislation will require an applicant for a home improvement license in Westchester to disclose any business-related judgements against them -- particularly those involving non-payment or underpayment.  These judgements will be taken into consideration when looking at contractors’ new applications and renewals.

The legislation also specifies that workers in Westchester can file complaints concerning underpayment or non-payment.

In addition, the proposed legislation has new protections for consumers who are hiring contractors -- requiring disclosure about proposed work in writing.

Board Chairman Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “This no-nonsense solution to real problems protects everyone – workers, contractors and consumers.  It will make Westchester a fairer and safer place to work and do business in. I'd like to thank Legislators Barr and Johnson for introducing this measure and I look forward to seeing it passed into law.”

Nancy Barr

Chris Johnson

(Westchester County Legislators Nancy Barr – top – and Christopher A. Johnson – bottom – speak at event introducing new proposed legislation; PHOTO CREDIT: Jaevon Boxhill)