Low wage workers brought from Lakewood, New Jersey to Oorah's camp in upsate New York in 2010 to renovate the camp were not paid for their labor. Oorah claimed a subcontractor was responsible for the wages. But Oorah also owed that subcontractor a large amount of money.
Oorah is a kiruv (missionary) organization best known for a related car donation program, Kars-4-Kids, that falsely claims the kids it helps are at risk and non-sectarian. It has settled with at least two states, paid fines and been forced to change its advertising there.
In this case, low wage workers brought from Lakewood, New Jersey to Oorah's Camp Boy Zone in upsate New York in 2010 to renovate the camp were not paid for their labor. Oorah claimed a subcontractor was responsible for the wages. But Oorah also owed that subcontractor a large amount of money.
After workers were unsuccessful at getting the money from either party, they picketed Oorah's Lakewood headquarters. They still did not get paid.
They then turned to New Labor, which calls itself a community union.
New Labor pressed the workers' case with the New York State Department of Labor, which launched an investigation.
…The settlement stems from the summer of 2010 when work was done by about 20 people who were taken from Lakewood to Stamford, N.Y., to work on construction of buildings at a summer camp for Oorah’s resort facility.
“Oorah hired Fairmont LLC to install tiles,” said Jeffrey Stern, controller and chief financial officer for Oorah. Fairmont contracted the workers who made the claim, he said. Oorah was paying Fairmont but the company disappeared from the job without paying the employees, Stern said.
Oorah had owed Fairmont $30,000 and paid that money to the New York labor department, Stern said. Oorah also paid another $35,000 owed to the workers by Fairmont, Stern said.…
Oorah was not ordered to pay any penalties or fines in connection with the settlement, Stern said.…
The fact that Oorah did not pay the subcontractor and did not dispute the work or the bill meant that the subcontractor could not pay the laborers without losing money, and the responsibility for that was Oorah's.
In all likelihood, Oorah settled because otherwise it would have lost and would have been forced to pay fines and penalties – and what it owed Fairmont – which most likely would have been greater than the cost of the settlement.