Chang hit with subpoenas in construction company investigation

October 30, 2009 10:03AM

Sam Chang, a prominent budget hotelier, has been hit with a subpoena as part of a state attorney general’s office investigation into the construction contractor he used to build at least six of his 37 New York City hotels. The company, EMC Contracting, is alleged to have underpaid immigrant workers who were forced to work 70-hour weeks, and to have calculated their wages based on race. A civil suit filed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo this month charges that EMC paid white workers $25 per hour, while black workers were paid $18 and Latino workers got $15. The investigation began after a protest by EMC workers got out of hand at a Chang construction site in 2006. Chang, who owns properties like the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, and Comfort Inn, will be required to provide records, documents, and correspondence relevant to his relationship with the company, and to testify on Nov. 11. Chang told the New York Times that he knows very little about the case, and that he stopped hiring EMC for his projects after the 2006 incident, but the subpoenas show that action could be taken against him and his companies.