A Manhattan judge struck down on Monday a New York City “prevailing wage” law that set pay for workers in some buildings, saying that while he recognized the law’s benefits, it is preempted by the state minimum wage measure.
Judge Geoffrey Wright said he questions “the wisdom in the mayor’s zeal for the possibility of welcoming to New York City a business that would pay its building service employees less than the prevailing wage.” But he added that city bills cannot supersede state laws.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year vetoed the city council bill that guarantees wages topping $20 an hour for building-services employees at properties that get more than $1 million in city subsidies or lease significant space to the city. He sued the City Council after it overrode his veto.
Bloomberg spokeswoman Julie Wood says such laws discourage companies from doing business in the city. The city’s current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
A spokesman for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she disagreed with the decision and would appeal. The bill has the support of the city’s largest building service workers union, which has endorsed Quinn for mayor.