Minnesota Supreme Court Skews Anti-Worker, Denies 13 Plaintiffs the Prevailing Wage on Minny Convention Center
In an interesting and/or troubling ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court has decided 4-2 that there is no recourse for 13 workers who were not properly paid prevailing wages on the Minneapolis Convention Center project.
The decision was based on the court’s belief that the plaintiffs were not the intended third-party beneficiaries of the contract despite the fact that all levels of government which have reviewed the case believe that the workers should have been paid the prevailing wage. According to attorney Justin Cummins, who represented the employees:
“Four justices voted to affirm even though the amicus State of Minnesota said we were right about the state statute at issue, the City of Minneapolis said we were right about the city’s contract and ordinance, and the business associations said we were right about the law and policies governing the contracting regime.
“This decision is unfortunate not only for the 13 plaintiffs but for the rule of law.”
When repairs were needed, a certificate was issued by the contractor insuring work for 10 floor technicians and three foremen that would be paid prevailing wages based on the class of employee. However, the plaintiffs believe their employee status was misclassified:
The respondent later determined that the employee’s classification was janitorial and their wage should be $16.28 per hour. Several unions complained to the city that the employees should be classified as terrazzo mechanics and paid the prevailing wage of $44.31 per hour. The city investigated the matter but did not take action.