On Wednesday Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest of 37-year-old Huntington resident, Jose Hector Hernandez Gramajo. The owner of Royal Commercial Cleaning Company is in Brooklyn Criminal Court for failing to pay his workers the proper wages. He's facing charges of Grand Larceny, Scheme to Defraud, Violation of Workers Compensation laws, Falsifying Business Records, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing. If convicted Gramajo is looking at 2 1/3 to seven years in prison.
"A federal agency caught this employer underpaying his employees and even after that, he continued breaking the law," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "In New York, such disrespect for rule of law and disrespect for workers' rights will get you arrested."
Gramajo first came under fire in November 2011. Gramajo owed 33 employees $87,000 after an investigation by the United States Department of Labor. He gave the employees $3,000 checks but then told them to return the money after cashing it or else they'd be fired.
He paid workers who worked eight hours a day for seven days a week a flat rate of $700 to $800 twice a month. The flat rates amounted to less than minimum wage and the employess received no overtime. The crew's foreman was also paid a flat rate less than minimum wage and never received overtime pay for the 56 hours he worked each week. After 40 hours, New York State law requires employers to pay overtime and it's illegal for them to retaliate against employees for reporting violations of these labor laws.
Gramajo operated Royal Commercial Cleaning out of his home in Huntington. His cleaning company cleaned more than 27 different movie theaters in the New York area including the United Artists Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 movie theater.
[Source: Attorney General]