Skilled Trade Workers Abuse Of Overtime At NYCHA

Published on January 26, 2022, 5:41 pm
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The New York City Housing Authority announced today 22 provisional workers were terminated or returned to their former civil service titles after an investigation showed they abused overtime. This investigation is ongoing.

NYCHA will not tolerate overtime abuse. We will continue to investigate these employees and others and will take appropriate action – both legal and criminal – against any employee who abuses overtime or commits any other type of overtime malfeasance.

An investigation by NYCHA’s Quality Assurance Department, one of three new departments established by the 2019 HUD Agreement, found that these employees consistently swiped out at the end of their overtime window while being underutilized during their regular work hours.

“This investigation shows the progress NYCHA is making toward transparency and compliance,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ. “This is proof positive that the 2019 HUD Agreement is working, and we have the departments in place to ensure best practices at the Authority.”

“Overtime is necessary for staff to be available to respond to residents’ needs and improve productivity, and those employees who abuse this tool undermine the effectiveness of the Authority,” said Jay Flaherty, NYCHA Vice President of Quality and Cost Control. “NYCHA is committed to investigating all malfeasance and will take appropriate disciplinary measures as needed.”

An overtime policy, which is not unique to NYCHA, is necessary to address the work dictated by the HUD Agreement, including the need for increased staffing during the heating season, as well as addressing immediate and long-term needs of NYCHA residents, especially in cases of weekend emergencies or federally recognized holidays.

NYCHA is obligated to credit overtime and pay overtime in accordance with the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreements to which it is bound. Any abuse or inappropriate uses of overtime are investigated by NYCHA’s Quality Assurance team, which also works with our city and federal partners.

This internal investigation initially identified 66 skilled trade workers through surveillance or tracking who have potentially cheated the Authority by overbilling for overtime they worked. An additional 12 skilled trade supervisors were interviewed as part of this investigation.

Of these 66 workers, 22 were identified as provisional employees, which resulted in 18 terminations and four employees being returned to their prior civil service title pending discipline. None of these employees are supervisors.

The provisional employees include 18 plumber helpers, 16 of whom were terminated and two returned to their prior civil service titles pending further discipline; and four carpenters, two of whom were terminated and two returned to their prior civil service titles pending further discipline.

The remaining 44 workers are still part of the ongoing investigation.

The 22 provisional employees made a total of $1,476,783 in 2021 and three employees made more than $100,000 in 2021.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to 1 in 17 New Yorkers, providing affordable housing to 528,105 authorized residents through public housing and Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) programs as well as Section 8 housing. NYCHA has 177,569 apartments in 2,411 buildings across 335 conventional public housing and PACT developments. In addition, NYCHA connects residents to critical programs and services from external and internal partners, with a focus on economic opportunity, youth, seniors, and social services. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.

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