Page 1

Troubling Developments The History of Safety Problems, Law-Breaking Contractors, and Unaffordable Health Insurance at AvalonBay Communities


Executive Summary AvalonBay is the nation’s second largest publicly traded apartment owner. Over the last ten years, it has enjoyed stellar financial success, with annual profits consistently in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It has also made claims that it treats workers fairly and demands that its vendors do the same. But despite these claims, problems have been found both at AvalonBay’s construction sites and inside its luxury apartment complexes. These problems include:

A Documented Pattern of Fall Safety Failures: l In March 2007, 28-year-old carpenter Oscar Pintado

fell 48 feet to his death while working on an AvalonBay construction project in Woburn, MA. Unfortunately, the lapse that led to Pintado’s accident was not an isolated event. The developer, its contractors, and subcontractors have been cited for 38 fall protection and related violations in the last ten years.

Contractors Retained Despite Dubious Fall Safety Records: l Despite former CEO Bryce Blair’s 2008 claim that Ava-

lonBay had a “policy to terminate any subcontractor who we find engaged in any illegal practices,” the company has continued to use contractors who have violated OSHA fall safety standards while working on AvalonBay projects. One of these companies, Shawnlee Construction LLC, has an especially questionable track record, with more than $200,000 in fines for 27 fall protection violations at the sites of various developers since 2002.

Wage and Hour Violations by AvalonBay Contractors in Massachusetts: l In February 2009, the Massachusetts Attorney General

announced that her office had fined three construction companies for violations of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law and Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws while working at AvalonBay projects around the state. Two other construction companies agreed to settlements with the attorney general. The three companies cited were forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. One of these companies was also the contractor whom AvalonBay claims employed fatal fall victim Oscar Pintado.

A Failure to Maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance by AvalonBay Contractors: l On numerous occasions, AvalonBay subcontractors have

had their work stopped by state agencies for failing to have purchased workers’ compensation insurance.

Uncovered Holes and Excessive Debris at Worksites in New York City:

Employees who Lack Access to Affordable Health Insurance:

l During the construction of its Avalon Fort Greene

l In New York City, where employer-funded family

complex in Brooklyn, New York, AvalonBay was cited and fined multiple times for uncovered holes and excessive debris. At least one employee was injured when she stepped into a hole at the site, and another has a pending lawsuit claiming he was hurt when he tripped over debris at the site. A bystander was also injured when she was struck by debris falling from the site. And a worker who claimed to have tripped over debris at a site in nearby Long Island City later reached a $30,000 settlement in his case against AvalonBay.

A Variety of Other Safety Failures: l AvalonBay has also been cited and fined for a lack of

fire precautions and a failure to warn employees of their potential exposure to lead. And AvalonBay and its contractors have been penalized for insufficient safety training.

health coverage is the industry norm, AvalonBay employees must pay more than $75 per month just to insure themselves. Elsewhere, AvalonBay employees are also stuck with health insurance that they find unaffordable.

Executive Bonus Criteria which Threatens to Impede Efforts to Address these Problems: l In February 2012, one of AvalonBay’s two leading

construction and development executives received a nearly $435,000 cash bonus, in part, for the achievement of corporate and individual goals for minimizing construction costs and outpacing development schedules in 2011. The company thereby provided its executives with an incentive to prioritize speed and low cost over worker safety and compliance with workplace laws.

AvalonBay | 2


introduction With more than 180 complexes in ten states and the District of Columbia, AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (AVB) is the nation’s second largest publicly traded apartment owner.1 Since 1978, the company has acquired or built and developed residential communities.2 On the surface, AvalonBay is a paragon of success. Over the past ten years, the company has produced over $2.8 billion in profits3 and declared over $2.1 billion in dividends.4 In 2011 alone, AvalonBay reported profits of over $441 million.5 Forbes magazine described it in 2010 as “one of real estate’s blue chip firms,”6 and in 2011 as a “standout apartment REIT.”7

women employed in the construction and maintenance of its communities. The developer has chosen to rely on numerous contractors and subcontractors to help it construct and operate its developments. AvalonBay professes a commitment to ensuring that these contractors adhere to basic minimum standards. For example, contractors hired during the construction of the developer’s complex in Cohasset, Massachusetts in 2011 were given a document reminding them that “AvalonBay is a company committed to providing workers with all the benefits and protections established by law. We both expect and require all subcontractors working on our projects to offer their employees appropriate wages and benefits and to help AvalonBay provide a jobsite that is clean, safe and professional.”8 And, in 2008, then-CEO Bryce Blair told the press in Hingham,

Unfortunately, AvalonBay has not always adhered to high standards when it comes to the treatment of the men and

AvalonBay Portfolio, Nationwide

WA

NY NJ MD

IL

CA

VA

California

Bay Area ■ ■

■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

■ ■

■ ✂

Los Angeles ■

■✂

■ ■ ✂

✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■

■■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■■ ■ ■ ■■

■ ■■■ ■ ■■

■ ■ ■

East Coast

Boston Metro ■ ■ ■ ■

■■ ■■

MA CT

■ ■■ ■

NY

New York Metro

NJ

■ ■ ■■

✂ ✂✂ ✂DC Metro ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ■

■ ■ ■

■■ ■ ■ ■■■ ■ ■■

MD

■ ■ ■■

■■■ ■■

VA

■■ ■■■

■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■■ ■

■ ■■ ■ ■■ ■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■■

■ ■

■ ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ ■■■■ ■■ ■■■■■ ■

RI

■ ■ ■

■ ■■

■ ■

AvalonBay | 3

✂ ✂

■ ■

■■

■ ■■ ■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■


AvalonBay: Financial Performance Cumulative, Last 10 Years 174 million

272 million

220 million

310 million

2002 2003 2004 2005 203 million

0

210 million

217 million

0.5

241 million

267 million

358 million

2006

2007

277 million

1.0

423 million

411 million

2008 288 million

1.5

156 175 million million

2009 2010 303 million

2.0

442 million

Profits

2011

327 million

Dividends

2.5

3.0

$ Amount in billions

We both expect and require all subcontractors working on our projects to offer their employees appropriate wages and benefits and to help AvalonBay provide a jobsite that is clean, safe and professional.

Document given to contractors hired during the construction of AvalonBay’s complex in Cohasset, Massachusetts in 2011.

Massachusetts, “We require that all of our subcontractors comply with all [his emphasis] state and federal laws and regulations, and it is our policy to terminate any subcontractor who we find engaged in any illegal practices.”9 But despite these claims, problems have been found at AvalonBay’s construction sites, where the developer has not only repeatedly failed to protect the safety of the men and women building its complexes – in one instance leading to the death of a worker – it has also contracted with unscrupulous construction contractors who have failed to properly pay workers on AvalonBay projects. Other problems arise after construction has been completed, when workers inside AvalonBay’s luxury rental communities have to contend with a lack of access to affordable health insurance. Going forward, the construction problems could continue because of the company’s policy of tying executive bonuses to development speed and expense reduction. In

February 2012, William McLaughlin, AvalonBay’s Executive Vice President for Development and Construction, received a $434,616 cash bonus, in part, for the achievement of corporate and individual goals for minimizing construction costs and outpacing development schedules in 2011. In order to address the problems outlined below, AvalonBay needs to stop providing incentives for its executives to value low cost and high speed construction above worker safety.

AvalonBay has not only repeatedly failed to protect the safety of the men and women building its complexes – in one instance leading to the death of a worker – it has also contracted with unscrupulous construction contractors who have failed to properly pay workers on AvalonBay projects.

AvalonBay | 4


Unsafe Conditions Found at AvalonBay Construction Sites As of January 31, 2012, AvalonBay was in the process of constructing 19 different developments which are expected to contain a total of 5,224 apartment homes when finished.10 Such a large volume of construction requires the company to track projects closely and maintain a high level of attention to detail. In its annual report, AvalonBay describes this hands-on approach: “We generally act as our own general contractor and construction manager… We believe direct involvement in construction enables us to achieve higher construction quality, greater control over construction schedules and cost savings. Our development, property management and construction teams monitor construction progress to ensure quality workmanship and a smooth and timely transition into the leasing and operating phase” (emphasis supplied).11 And while supervising construction, the developer, according to 2006 and 2010 construction safety manuals, also “monitor[s] the safety program…to ensure that all contractors and subcontractors…strive to provide a safe and healthy workplace.”12 But AvalonBay’s monitoring of its contractors and subcontractors has not always been sufficient to ensure compliance with safety and health laws. State and federal health

and safety agencies have repeatedly found that companies working on the developer’s projects have failed to adhere to federal regulations regarding protecting workers from falls and other worksite dangers. In some cases, AvalonBay has continued to use construction companies with dubious safety records, directly contradicting Blair’s assertion that AvalonBay fires lawbreaking contractors. In short, AvalonBay may claim that it demands that all contractors “help… provide a jobsite that is clean, safe and professional,” but it has not always lived up to this promise.

Documented Pattern of Lax Fall Safety on AvalonBay Construction Projects The developer’s most egregious safety lapse has been its repeated failure to make sure that its contractors and subcontractors protect workers from falls. The death of carpenter Oscar Pintado stands out as a tragic reminder of the serious consequences that can result when contractors provide inadequate protection to workers. On the morning of March 8, 2007, Pintado fell 48 feet down an elevator

Document from OSHA investigation of Pintado’s death.

AvalonBay | 5


shaft while working on the roof of an AvalonBay construction site in Woburn, Massachusetts. According to the U.S. labor department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Pintado’s accident occurred when he stepped through an unmarked piece of substan-

Unfortunately, the lapse that led to Pintado’s death was not an isolated incident. Instead, AvalonBay, its contractors, and subcontractors have been cited for 38 fall protection and related violations in the last ten years at AvalonBay construction sites. dard composite board covering a hole in the roof cut for the purpose of installing the shaft’s chimney chase.13 He was just 28 years old. By multiple accounts, at the time of the accident Pintado was not wearing the fall protection harness that might have saved his life.14 In response to the incident, OSHA fined Caballero Construction Company for four serious violations of fall protection standards and another serious violation of training requirements.15

Daily Times Chronicle, March 9, 2007

Unfortunately, the lapse that led to Pintado’s accident was not an isolated incident. Instead, AvalonBay, its contractors, and subcontractors have been cited for 38 fall protection and related violations in the last ten years at AvalonBay construction sites.16 The following is a summary of incidents involving falls or fall protection violations on AvalonBay projects: l On January 30, 2003, OSHA issued a citation to Ava-

lonBay for lacking fall protection at a construction site in Newton, Massachusetts.17 Then, in April 2003, OSHA cited AvalonBay again for failing to provide fall protection at the same Newton site. This time the company was fined for what OSHA deemed a serious violation.18 (OSHA defines a violation as serious “if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition” about which the employer knew or should have known.19 Atlantic Builders Contracting Corp. was also fined for a serious violation of OSHA fall protection standards at the site.20

l In July 2003, AvalonBay was cited by OSHA for three

A Shawnlee worker who had not undergone safety training risks an 11-foot fall atop a wall frame at an AvalonBay project in Chestnut Hill, MA in December 2005. This incident led to one of the 38 fall protection and related violations issued to AvalonBay and its subcontractors during the last ten years.

more violations, including one serious violation, of OSHA fall protection standards in Darien, Connecticut.21 National Carpentry Contractors was also cited and fined for two serious fall protection violations at the site.22

l Freddy Penafiel was injured in July 2004 after fall-

ing from a roof while working for a subcontractor at

AvalonBay | 6


AvalonBay’s Avalon Pines construction site in Coram, New York. He later reached a $350,000 settlement.23 Then, on October 21, 2005, Jose Chimbay, who was working as a carpenter at the same site, fractured his left foot. According to Chimbay’s sworn testimony, the injury occurred when he landed on concrete after falling nine feet while working without a safety harness.24 Chimbay reached a $315,000 settlement with DaVinci Construction Company and its insurers.25 l At an AvalonBay site in Chestnut Hill, Massachu-

setts, on December 20, 2005, an OSHA inspector found a Shawnlee Construction employee exposed to an 11-foot fall to concrete while walking across a wall frame.26 The OSHA inspector found that the employee had not received fall protection training.27 One of Shawnlee’s crews at the site lacked an employee trained as a safety monitor, and according to company records, two of the five workers in the crew had not received fall protection training. Shawnlee was cited for two serious fall protection violations and another training violation, and fined.28

l Following the December 2005 inspection in Chestnut

Hill, OSHA also cited AvalonBay for two violations of fall protection standards and a serious violation of a standard requiring that “[a]ll protruding reinforcing steel, onto and into which employees could fall, shall be guarded to eliminate the hazard of impalement.”29

l In December 2006, OSHA issued a serious violation to

DaVinci Construction Company and fined the contractor for exposing a worker to an 18-foot fall hazard at an AvalonBay project in Lexington, Massachusetts.30

l On December 8, 2006, OSHA cited Sorbara Construc-

tion Company for a serious violation of OSHA fall protection standards on an AvalonBay project in New Rochelle, New York.31

l On June 5, 2007, at an AvalonBay project in Lexing-

ton, Massachusetts, an OSHA inspector found an employee of Desiderio Masonry working ten to 12 feet from the ground in an aerial lift without the necessary lanyard attached to his fall protection harness. When the inspector asked Desiderio’s vice president why he did not have a disciplinary action program in place to ensure that employees never failed to take such precautions, the vice president responded, “We haven’t had any problems.” This, despite the fact that Desid-

A DaVinci Construction employee is exposed to an 18-foot fall hazard at an AvalonBay project in Lexington, MA in December 2006.

erio had, as the inspector noted, “been cited before for different things, including many scaffold violations and a repeat violation.”32 Twenty days later, at the same site, an inspector found Desiderio employees working from a scaffold with two of its footings nearly half off of their base plates.33 OSHA fined Desiderio for these two serious violations.34 (The same inspection also revealed five serious respiratory violations, as Desiderio had not taken several measures necessary to reduce its employees’ risk of inhaling potentially-high levels of silica-containing dust while cutting stones and bricks.35) l On September 19, 2007, the California Department of

Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) fined LDI Mechanical, Inc. for a serious violation of fall protection standards at an AvalonBay site in Dublin, California.36

l In November 2007, Sorbara Construction Corporation

was fined and charged with two serious violations of OSHA fall protection standards at an AvalonBay construction project in Manhattan, New York. (Sorbara was also charged with three other serious violations for failing to adhere to OSHA requirements regarding wiring, ladders, and training.)37

l On June 6, 2008, an OSHA inspector again found em-

ployees of Desiderio Masonry working without proper

AvalonBay | 7


fall protection, this time on a scaffold at AvalonBay’s Hingham (MA) Shipyard site where coastal winds gusted up to 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 mph). The inspector also witnessed one employee risk a 15-foot fall while climbing another scaffold’s crossbraces, a prohibited means of access. Additionally, the inspector found that a scaffold was not inspected for visual defects by a competent person and workers were not protected from falling tools and debris because a scaffold lacked toeboards.38 All of this took place in plain view with Desiderio’s president and vice president both present at the site.39 For these issues and a failure to adhere to training requirements for employees using scaffolds, Desiderio was charged with eight serious violations and one other violation, and fined.40 l On October 23, 2008, at an AvalonBay development

An employee of Desiderio Masonry climbs the crossbraces of a scaffold at AvalonBay’s Hingham Shipyard project in June 2008. An OSHA inspector witnessed the worker risk a 15-foot fall during the climb.

in Norwalk, Connecticut, OSHA inspectors found employees working without fall protection at two different places where they risked falling over 11 feet to a concrete basement floor. At a third location, employees risked falling six to eight feet to either a set of concrete stairs or the concrete floor. According to a report from the inspection, “The above conditions exposed the employees to fall distances resulting in

AvalonBay | 8


multiple fractures and possible death.”41 OSHA fined AvalonBay for the violation.42 l On April 28, 2010, an employee of Desiderio Masonry

was performing waterproofing work at the administration building of an AvalonBay complex in Lexington, Massachusetts when he fell from a ladder. Documents do not reveal the extent of the worker’s injuries, but they do record that an ambulance was summoned.43 An OSHA inspector determined that the worker should have been operating from atop a scaffold, rather than from the steps of the far less stable ladder.44 OSHA fined AvalonBay for the violation.45

l A June 28, 2011 OSHA inspection of an AvalonBay

project in Elmsford, New York revealed five alleged serious safety violations and led the administration to propose $17,000 in penalties for AvalonBay. Among the problems at the Elmsford site were several conditions which put workers at risk of falling: stairways without rails, one stairway with an inadequate guardrail system, and a number of stairrails with protruding nails.46 (AvalonBay is contesting these violations, and as of April 4, 2012, this case was still open.)

l On September 16, 2011, after receiving a complaint

that workers were not safeguarded against falls at an AvalonBay construction site in Wood Ridge, New Jersey,47 OSHA inspectors found framing workers at the site’s sixth building operating without fall protection on the edge of the fifth floor, where they risked falling about ten feet to the fourth floor below.48 OSHA fined AvalonBay for a serious violation for failing to ensure that the workers used harnesses or safety nets and fined the company.49

Retaining Repeat Fall Protection Violators Despite its assertions that it expects its contractors to comply with state and federal laws and regulations, AvalonBay has continued to utilize several contractors who have been repeatedly cited for violating OSHA fall protection standards. From August 30, 2002 to May 27, 2010, Shawnlee Construction was cited for 27 violations of OSHA fall protection standards at sites throughout New England and fined $236,799.50 These include two serious violations on an AvalonBay project in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts in December 2005. They also include a $45,000 fine

Boston Herald, March 5, 2009

in September 2008 for exposing workers to what OSHA called “a fatal 50-foot plunge” at another developer’s site in Chelsea, Massachusetts.51 Yet despite this track record, Shawnlee was listed as one of AvalonBay’s “key partners” in a September 2011 Construction Today magazine article based on interviews with some of the developer’s construction officials.52 Several other contractors have been retained by AvalonBay despite their violations of OSHA fall safety standards. The developer continued to utilize Desiderio Masonry after the contractor was cited for serious scaffold and aerial lift violations in 2007 and then charged with eight more serious scaffold violations in 2008, all on AvalonBay sites. Sorbara Construction was also retained despite being charged with serious fall safety violations on AvalonBay sites in New York in December 2006 and again in November 2007. Likewise, AvalonBay did not stop working with DaVinci Construction after it was cited for exposing a worker to an 18-foot fall hazard on one of the developer’s projects in Lexington, Massachusetts in December 2006. Nor did the developer cease doing business with LDI Mechanical, Inc. after it was cited by the Cal/OSHA for a serious fall protection violation at an AvalonBay site in Dublin, California in September 2007. And National Carpentry Contractors, whom AvalonBay claims employed Oscar Pintado, had previously been cited in July 2003 for a serious violation of OSHA fall safety requirements at an AvalonBay site in Darien, Connecticut.

AvalonBay | 9


Uncovered Holes and Excessive Debris at Construction Sites in New York City Substandard fall protection has not been AvalonBay’s only safety problem. It appears that even after being warned by a regulatory agency, the company continued to fail to cover holes at a worksite, ignoring dangerous tripping hazards which felled at least one worker. On August 13, 2009, Danielle Legette was working at AvalonBay’s Fort Greene project in Brooklyn, New York, when, according to a lawsuit she filed, she stepped into an opening in the site’s floor.53 Corroborating her claims are documents from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), which reveal that on the same date a worker at the Fort Greene site tripped on a hole and fell, sustaining a knee injury. According to the documents, three violations and a stop worker order were issued in connection with the accident, and AvalonBay paid a $2,400 penalty.54 At the time of Legette’s injury, AvalonBay had already been penalized once for holes at the site, having been fined $1,000 by the DOB on December 16, 2008 for holes of varying sizes throughout the building’s entire seventh floor.55

AvalonBay has also had safety problems involving construction debris. On July 8, 2009, debris falling from the Fort Greene project struck a passing girl in the forehead.56 The DOB determined that this accident was the result of “inadequate housekeeping, stripping operations outside the [debris safety] netting, and storage of materials too close to the edge of the building.”57 In response to the accident, the department issued AvalonBay five violations and stopped all work on the project for the next five days.58 The DOB had already handed AvalonBay a $12,000 fine in March 2009 for an incident in which two pieces of wood had fallen from the southeast side of the building.59 Similarly, in December 2008 and January 2009, the DOB cited AvalonBay for excessive amounts of debris at the Brooklyn construction site. Then, on February 15, 2009, construction worker Luke Rosa tripped and fell at the site. Rosa has a pending lawsuit regarding the fall.60 Likewise, Stephen Spratley claimed to have been injured at an AvalonBay construction site in Long Island City, New York when he tripped over debris on July 25, 2007.61 He reached a $30,000 settlement in his case against AvalonBay.62

Repeated Safety Lapses at Avalon Fort Greene During the construction of AvalonBay’s Avalon Fort Greene complex in Brooklyn, New York, several kinds of safety lapses persisted even after the developer was penalized for them. In December 2008, AvalonBay was fined by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) for uncovered holes at the site. Then, in August 2009, Danielle Legette was injured when she stepped into an opening in the site’s floor. Likewise, debris fell from the project and struck a bystander in the forehead in July 2009, despite the fact that the DOB had fined AvalonBay the previous March for allowing pieces of wood to fall from the building. And even after the DOB fined AvalonBay for the project’s excessive debris in December 2008 and again in January 2009, in February 2009, Luke Rosa tripped and fell at the site. Rosa has alleged that his fall was due to the presence of debris. Additionally, from December 16, 2008 to July 8, 2009, the DOB penalized AvalonBay four separate times for violating the city’s fire code by having smoking refuse at the site.

AvalonBay | 10


Fire Prevention, Lead Abatement and Safety Training all Found Lacking Regulatory agencies have found a variety of other safety problems at AvalonBay projects. Fire prevention, for example, has been found lacking at several of the developer’s sites. During a March 2010 inspection of an AvalonBay construction site in Norwalk, Connecticut, OSHA representatives found just one fire extinguisher for an entire four story building with an area of more than 220,000 square feet. The developer had also violated OSHA regulations by failing to place fire extinguishers near the stairwells of the buildings. OSHA deemed the violations serious and fined AvalonBay.63 A June 2011 OSHA inspection of an AvalonBay project in Elmsford, New York similarly revealed that fire extinguishers were completely absent from some of the buildings under construction and that several of the fire extinguishers in other buildings had already been discharged. These violations were also deemed serious and fines for AvalonBay were proposed.64 (AvalonBay is contesting these violations, and, as of April 4, 2012, this case was still open.) From December 16, 2008 to July 8, 2009, AvalonBay was penalized by the DOB four separate times and fined for violating the city’s fire code by having smoking refuse present at the Fort Greene construction site in Brooklyn, New York.65 Around the same time, in March 2009, the Cal/ OSHA warned AvalonBay about its failure to “promptly remove combustible debris” at a site in Dublin, California.66

that the company’s safety program “places a high emphasis on training, both at the worker and supervisor level.”68 Yet, as discussed, in January 2006, OSHA found that Shawnlee had failed to provide three workers with fall protection training at the AvalonBay site in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Safety training has been found lacking in other instances. After Pintado’s death in March 2007, OSHA deemed “ineffective” the fall safety training that Pintado and his coworkers had received and charged Caballero Construction with a serious violation.69 In November 2007, Sorbara Construction was fined for a serious violation of OSHA training requirements at an AvalonBay site in Manhattan.70 And Desiderio Masonry was cited and fined for a failure to properly train workers operating on scaffolds at AvalonBay’s Hingham Shipyard project in June 2008. Further, in January 2008, AvalonBay was cited by the Washington state labor department’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) for failing to have a first aid-trained supervisor available at a site in the city of Redmond. According to a DOSH write-up, workers had been exposed to this hazard for more than two years.71

At a construction site in Lexington, Massachusetts, AvalonBay failed to warn workers regarding potential lead exposure. After receiving a referral, on June 5, 2007, OSHA inspectors found that workers at the project were uninformed about their possible exposure to lead paint. Part of the project was being constructed at a former mental hospital, where lead paint was peeling from the walls. According to OSHA, “employees who walked through the building and were potentially exposed to lead were not given information regarding the presence of lead, its hazards, and how to protect themselves.” AvalonBay also failed to provide adequate handwashing facilities for employees who might have been exposed to lead. One sink provided for employees had no hot water and there were no towels available. The other sink did not work at all. OHSA fined the company for these serious violations.67 Regulators have also found that AvalonBay’s contractors have failed to provide adequate training to workers. AvalonBay’s construction safety manual informs contractors AvalonBay | 11


Wage and Hour Violations by AvalonBay Contractors On some AvalonBay construction sites in Massachusetts, safety lapses have not been the only problem. In February 2009, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her office had issued citations against three construction companies and reached settlements with two other companies that performed work at sites being developed by AvalonBay. After receiving numerous complaints, the Attorney General’s office investigated and audited several contractors that performed work on AvalonBay projects around the state. The investigations and audits found that a number of these companies had violated the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law and Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws. Ultimately, this led to tens of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution.72 Among the companies penalized by the Attorney General’s office was Oscar Pintado’s employer, National Carpentry Contractors (NCC). The framing contractor was fined $15,000 for violating Massachusetts’ Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law at AvalonBay sites in Lexington and Woburn. Nine different workers, who all claimed to have worked for NCC on AvalonBay projects, told investigators from the attorney general’s office that they had received their pay in the form of cash-filled envelopes. Several complained of irregular payments and/or of hours worked that they were never paid for. Nearly all of the workers said that they were paid straight time for the hours that they had worked over 40.73 Pintado’s coworker Alejandro Manosalva testified that he had quit working at the Woburn site, in part, because of the irregularity of the cash payments he had received from National Carpentry’s supervisors. “At first when it was going good,” he said,

“they were paying us weekly. Then it was almost at the end, they were paying us every month, every three weeks.” 74 (In December 2008, a group of workers in Connecticut

sued National Carpentry for nonpayment of wages. This failure to pay wages led to the criminal conviction of National Carpentry’s principal, John Kirk, and a default judgment against National Carpentry, Kirk, and his wife in the amount of $522,673.23. Gary Pechie, director of the state labor department’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division, called Kirk “the poster child of how not to do business in the state of Connecticut.” 75) Records from the wrongful death suit filed by Oscar Pintado’s estate shed light on National Carpentry’s practices at the AvalonBay site in Woburn, Massachusetts. Pintado appears to have been one of National Carpentry’s misclassified employees. His estate alleged that he had been earning $12-$14 per hour at the time of his death. He was always paid in cash, the estate claimed, sometimes by National Carpentry and sometimes by its subcontractor, Caballero Construction. Pintado’s estate alleged that National

Nine different workers, who all claimed to have worked for National Carpentry on AvalonBay projects in Massachusetts, told investigators from the attorney general’s office that they had received their pay in the form of cash-filled envelopes. Several complained of irregular payments and/or of hours worked that they were never paid for. Nearly all of the workers said that they were paid straight time for the hours that they had worked over 40. AvalonBay | 12


Carpentry and Caballero improperly withheld $2.00 per hour from Pintado’s wages for “tax purposes,” but neither contractor forwarded that money to the government.76 Other records suggest that AvalonBay took a hands-off approach to subcontractors at the Woburn site. The developer prides itself on its close construction management, yet according to records from the OSHA investigation into Pintado’s accident, AvalonBay said it was unaware that Caballero Construction was operating on the $81 million Woburn project.77 The developer also did not know whom Pintado had worked for. In defending the lawsuit filed by

Pintado’s estate, National Carpentry insisted that Pintado had in fact worked for Caballero. And initially, AvalonBay agreed and filed a third party complaint against Caballero, accusing the subcontractor of breach of contract for failing to have in place a liability insurance policy covering Pintado.78 But later, after contrary details emerged in Manosalva’s deposition, the developer reversed course and began arguing that Pintado had actually been directly employed by National Carpentry.79 In an effort to prove it, AvalonBay even tried to compel the Attorney General’s office to release unredacted copies of the records of its wage and hour investigation.

AvalonBay | 13


Failure to Maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance by AvalonBay Contractors cut Department of Labor (DOL) issued stop work orders to six different contractors at AvalonBay’s Avalon Shelton site who were unable to prove that they had workers’ compensation coverage. Then, on August 18, 2008, the DOL issued stop work orders to five more contractors at AvalonBay’s Avalon Huntington site for the same reason. On September 12, 2008, the DOL issued another stop work order to a contractor at Avalon Huntington, and then on October 26, 2009, it issued stop work orders to three more contractors at AvalonBay’s Avalon Norwalk site. Finally, on October 20, 2010, the DOL issued a stop work order to a contractor at AvalonBay’s Avalon Wilton on Danbury Road. One contractor, M&J Carpet Layer, was issued stop work orders in August 2008 and again in October 2009.82

In August 2010, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board issued a stop work order to contractor Commercial Concrete at AvalonBay’s Rockville Center construction site in Rockville, New York. Commercial had failed to have the coverage required by law and was subject to fines totaling $183,000.80 This was not the first time an AvalonBay contractor had had its work halted for lacking workers’ compensation coverage. In August 2008, Fairfax, Virgnia-based S&K Sub-Contractors was issued a stop work order when investigators from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office found it lacked workers’ compensation insurance while operating at AvalonBay’s Hingham Shipyard project in Hingham, Massachusetts.81 This problem has been a recurring one for AvalonBay in the state of Connecticut. On July 14, 2008, the Connecti-

Subcontractors’ failure to maintain workers’ compensation coverage has been a recurring problem for AvalonBay in the state of Connecticut.

State of Connecticut

Stop Work Orders Issued for Fail Company Name A&A Foundations

29 Skyline Drive Company CT Name Huntington,

Evergreen Construction vement A&A Landscaping & Home Impro

3200 Cobb Galleria Pkwy. 13 Holiday Circl e Atlanta, GA Somerset, MA

7/27/2010

7/23/2010

Date Issued 10/21/2009 4/17/2008

11 9/2/204/5/2010

Exceed Construction A&D Floor 10th Street

011 3/17/28/4/2011

35-37 45 Willow Road Long Island City, NY Rocky Hill, CT

F&M Home Improvement A&J Construction

3125 State Hwy. 10 2 Holly Lan e Denville, NJ Wallingford, CT

144 North Clinton Street

2008 10/20/8/18/2008

F. Martone Construction 231 Grand Avenue

433 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe

Worksite

Date of Release

lle e, Plainvi Danbury Avenu Road, Saw Mill 50Britain siteNew no longer on400 Workers 4/18/2008

Groton 1, Milford 12 #19, Route Released 220 Route Ended/Not Project 11 9/7/20

8/7/2011

lk e, Norwa Westport Street, s Avenu 69 Main 188 Richard

Lisbon Drive, Shelton Avalon 100Road, Released 155 River Ended/Not Project 2008 10/23/

Woodland Hills, Trumbull

8/1/2008

No further action at this time

5/6/2009

5/8/2009

Buckingham Avenue, Milford

2/5/2010

2/11/2010

695 Park Avenue, Bridgeport

East Orange, NJ

Friday, March 02, 2012

Worksite

Date of Release

Date Issued

Evolution Stucco cting A&D Contra North Colony Road 35 9141 Sauls Road Wallingford, CT Riley, NC

ure to Provide Coverage

Page 1 of 101

New Haven, CT

Fairfield County Drywall 93 Carroll Avenue Bridgeport, CT

Page 36 of 101

Friday, March 02, 2012

AvalonBay | 14


AvalonBay Employees Lack Access to Affordable Health Insurance While AvalonBay claims to foster “a spirit of caring” with regard to its associates and insists that it maintains a “sincere interest in their well being,”83 the company does not always provide its employees with access to affordable health insurance. In New York City, where employerfunded comprehensive family health coverage is the industry norm, the developer’s employees must make minimum biweekly payments of $34.86 just to insure themselves. In order to also provide their families with health insurance, AvalonBay employees have to pay at least $201.96 biweekly. This does not include the costs for vision and dental insurance. While vision insurance is relatively inexpensive, dental coverage costs an AvalonBay employee another $44 per month for himself alone and $131 per month to insure himself and his family.84 For employees in the nation’s most expensive city, these are terribly costly rates. Employees elsewhere also face expensive health insurance premiums. Richard Spivey and Jonathan Garcia, who work as maintenance technicians at AvalonBay complexes in Connecticut, speak for many when they complain that these costs are unaffordable.85

“I have been working for Avalon for a little over three years. In this time I have never had insurance with the company because of its cost....I am married with two [young] children...And I am spending money on doctors’ appointments that is for them and their future.” –Jonathan Garcia, maintenance technician at AvalonBay complex in Shelton, CT

“I have been with AvalonBay for eight years. When I started I had to choose 401k or benefits. I could not afford both.” –Richard Spivey, maintenance technician at AvalonBay complex in Milford, CT

AvalonBay Employee Health Costs, Monthly 600 Dental PPO

Monthly Costs, $

$121

Medical PPO

500

400

$404

300 $83 $75

200

$203

$0: always fully employer paid

$166 $41

100

$70

0

NYC Industry Standard

Employee Only

Employee & Spouse

AvalonBay | 15

Employee & Children

Employee & Family


conclusion With annual profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars and a capacity for closely monitoring details, AvalonBay is capable of correcting the problems outlined in this report. The developer need not allow itself or its subcontractors to continue to be cited for risking the safety of the men and women constructing its complexes. Nor must it accept further wage and hour violations or failures to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Indeed, AvalonBay should stop accepting these problems. While there are dangers inherent to the construction industry, AvalonBay ought to try to minimize these dangers. AvalonBay also ought to ensure that its contractors’ employees are both properly paid and provided for in the event of injury. Many of AvalonBay’s own documents and statements make clear that the company already recognizes and accepts these responsibilities. Unfortunately, AvalonBay has created incentives for one of its leading construction officials to give the responsibilities short shrift. In February 2012, Executive Vice President for Development and Construction William McLaughlin received a bonus of $434,616 – more than 111 percent of his base salary – in part, for the achievement of corporate and individual goals for minimizing construction costs and outpacing development schedules.86 McLaughlin was rewarded for, among other things, his Northeast Development and Construction group’s achievement of company goals related to “construction completion volume,” “actual construction costs relative to budgeted costs,” and “actual schedule performance relative to budgeted schedule performance” in 2011.87 The

size of his bonus was also determined based on McLaughlin’s having met a set of individual goals which included “aggressively manag[ing] total development costs in the face of increasing competition.”88 With these metrics determining whether or not he would receive such handsome remuneration, McLaughlin had a powerful inducement to prioritize speed and cost over worker safety and contractor compliance with relevant laws. If AvalonBay wants to make good on its promise to “provide a jobsite that is clean, safe and professional,” it should reduce this temptation to take shortcuts, by including assurances of safety and legality in its executive bonus criteria. Just as it has the resources available to eradicate its construction problems, so can the company afford to reduce or eliminate the relatively high premiums that many of its employees pay for health insurance. That AvalonBay’s employees pay these costs in New York City is particularly disappointing, as most of their industry peers in the city enjoy fully employee-funded family health insurance. Cutting these costs, then, would be a welcome demonstration of the “spirit of caring” that AvalonBay claims is a hallmark of its relationship with its employees. The timing is ripe for AvalonBay to institute these kinds of reforms. As many corporations around the world rededicate themselves to ensuring that their employees and those of their vendors are treated fairly, AvalonBay has a tremendous opportunity to foster a new culture of safety, fairness, and legality for its own employees, and for the employees of its contractors and subcontractors.

AvalonBay | 16


Appendix 2003

January 2003 NEWTON, MA

OSHA cites AvalonBay for lacking fall protection.

April 2003 Newton, MA

OSHA cites AvalonBay and Atlantic Builders Contracting Corp. for serious violations for lacking fall protection.

July 2003 Darien, CT

OSHA cites AvalonBay and National Carpentry Contractors for serious violations for lacking fall protection.

2004 July 2004 Freddy Penafiel Coram, NY

Falls from roof. Later reaches settlement with DaVinci Construction and its insurers for $350,000.

2005 September 2005 Jose Chimbay Coram, NY

Fractures left foot after allegedly falling nine feet while working without a safety harness. Later reaches $315,000 settlement.

December 2005 Chestnut Hill, MA

OSHA finds Shawnlee employee exposed to 11-foot fall and workers who received no fall protection training, cites Shawnlee for serious violations of fall protection standards and AvalonBay for serious violations of fall protection standards and for failure to eliminate the hazard of impalement.

2006

December 2006

December 2006 New Rochelle, NY

OSHA cites DaVinci Construction for serious violation of fall protection standards. June 2007 Lexington, MA

Lexington, MA

OSHA cites for serious violation for exposing a worker to an 18-foot fall hazard.

2007

OSHA finds Desiderio Masonry employee working ten to 12 feet from ground in an aerial lift without necessary lanyard attached to harness. At same site, OSHA finds employees working from scaffold with two of its footings nearly half off base plates. OSHA cites Desiderio for two serious violations. November 2007 Manhattan, NY

OSHA cites Sobrara Construction Corporation for two serious violations of fall protection standards.

OSHA issues four serious violations of fall protection standards, serious violation of training requirements. September 2007 Dublin, CA

2008

CalOSHA cites LDI Mechanical, Inc. for serious violation of fall protection standards.

June 2008 Hingham, MA

OSHA finds employees working without fall protection on scaffold in coastal wind gusts up to 70 kmh. One employee risked a 15-foot fall while climbing another scaffold’s crossbraces. Charges Desiderio with eight serious violations.

October 2008 Norwalk, CT

OSHA finds employees working without fall protection in two places where they risked falling over 11 feet. At a third location, employees risk falling six to eight feet. OSHA cites AvalonBay for violation.

March 2007 Oscar Pintado falls 48 feet to his death Woburn, MA

2009

FALL SAFETY FAILURES

at AvalonBay Construction Sites

2010

April 2010 Lexington, MA

OSHA cites AvalonBay for violation after worker falls from a ladder; ambulance summoned.

June 2011 Elmsford, NY

2011

OSHA finds several conditions that put workers at risk of falling: stairways without rails, a number of stairrails with protruding nails, one stairway with an inadequate guardrail system. (AvalonBay is contesting these citations.)

September 2011 Woodridge, NJ

OSHA cites AvalonBay for serious violation for failure to ensure that workers used harnesses or safety nets.

AvalonBay | 17


endnotes 1 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 10K SEC Filing, February 27, 2012: at page 1; Oshrat Camiel, “AvalonBay FFO Increases as Rising Apartment Demand Prompts Higher Rents,” Bloomberg, February 1, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/avalonbay-ffoincreases-as-rising-apartment-demand-prompts-higher-rents.html 2 Although it has predecessors with even longer histories, AvalonBay lists 1978 as the year it was first incorporated. “Our Company,” AvalonBay Communities, Inc., http://www.avalonbay.com/avalon/ site/pages/index.html?code=r.ourcompany.home 3 “Financial Information,” AvalonBay Communities, Inc., http:// www.snl.com/irweblinkx/reports.aspx?keyreport=-61&iid=103145 4 “Dividends,” AvalonBay Communities, Inc., http://www.snl. com/irweblinkx/divs.aspx?iid=103145 5 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 10K SEC Filing, February 27, 2011: at page 33. 6 Stephane Fitch, “This Week’s Forbes on Fox stock picks included a REIT: AvalonBay,” Forbes.com, October 5, 2010, http://www. forbes.com/sites/stephanefitch/2010/10/05/this-weeks-forbes-onfox-stock-picks-included-a-reit-avalonbay/ 7 Peter Slatin, “Stay with Blue-Chip REITS in 2011,” Forbes Magazine, February 14, 2011. 8 State and Federal Requirements, Sub-Contractor Schedule of Values to be submitted for review to General Contractor, Avalon Cohasset-Roadway Improvements: at page 7. 9 Bryce Blair, “Letter: Union, nonunion carpenters at Shipyard,” Hingham Journal, June 5, 2008, http://www.wickedlocal.com/ hingham/news/opinions/letters/x955870092/LETTER-Union-nonunion-carpenters-at-Shipyard#axzz1niKCOt7d 10 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 10K SEC Filing, February 27, 2012: at page 1. 11 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 10K SEC Filing, February 27, 2012: at page 3. 12 Safety Plan, Illness and Injury Prevention Program for Avalon at Union City, Avalon Bay Communities, Inc, December 1, 2006: at page 2; Construction Safety Program, Avalon Cohasset, Cohasset, MA: at page 2. 13 Inspection: 310882394 – Caballero Construction Company, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/ pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310882394 14 Inspection: 310882394, OSHA; Jorge Pintado vs. National Carpentry Contractors, Inc., et al., Deposition of: Alejandro Manosalva, Volume I: at pages 75-76; Narrative for Patrol Joseph Mantone, Ref: 07-519-OF, Woburn Police Department. 15 Inspection: 310882394 – Caballero Construction Company, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/ pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310882394

16 This figure includes all the citations issued to AvalonBay and its subcontractors for violations of OSHA and Cal/OSHA standards regarding “Duty to have fall protection” and “Fall protection systems criteria and practices.” It also includes ladder, stairway and scaffold violations for which we have been able to obtain more information than is provided in OSHA’s online Integrated Management Information System. Ladder, stairway, and scaffold violations for which we were unable to obtain additional information were not included. 17 Inspection: 306093733 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=306093733 18 Inspection: 306094780 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=306094780 19 Section 17.k, Occupational Safety and Health Act 29 U.S.C. Section 666: “(k) For purposes of this section, a serious violation shall be deemed to exist in a place of employment if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition which exists, or from one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes which have been adopted or are in use, in such place of employment unless the employer did not, and could not with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation.” 20 Inspection: 306095035 – Atlantic Builders Contracting Corp., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha. gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=306095035 21 Inspection: 123290041 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=123290041 22 Inspection: 123290033 – National Carpentry Contractors, Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha. gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=123290033 23 Letter from Evan Goldberg to Honorable E. Thomas Boyle, Re: Freddy E. Penafiel v. AvalonBay Communities, et al., December 12, 2006; Freddy Penafiel v. AvalonBay Communities, et al., Supplemental Verified Complaint: at pages 1-5. 24 Jose Chimbay v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., et al., Examination of Jose Chimbay: at pages 24, 35, 41. 25 Letter from Richard M. Winograd to Honorable Joanna Seybert, USDJ, Re: Chimbay v. Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., et al., March 25, 2010. 26 Worksheet, Inspection: 309563518 – Shawnlee Construction, LLC, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 1, 7. 27 Worksheet, Inspection: 309563518 – Shawnlee Construction, LLC, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 7.

AvalonBay | 18


28 Inspection: 309563518 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=309563518 29 Inspection: 309563427 – Avalon Bay Communities, Incorporated, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www. osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=309563427; Standard 1926.701(b), Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http:// www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_ table=STANDARDS&p_id=10778 30 Worksheet, Inspection Number 310581731 – DaVinci Construction, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 1. 31 Inspection: 309596385 – Sorbara Construction Corp., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=309596385 32 Worksheet, Inspection 310882436 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 13-14. 33 Worksheet, Inspection 310882436 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 11-12. 34 Inspection: 310882436 – Desiderio Masonry, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310882436 35 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 310882436 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 6-7; Worksheet, Inspection 310882436 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 6-7. 36 Inspection: 310061031 – Ldi Mechanical, Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/ establishment.inspection_detail?id=310061031 37 Inspection: 311441406 – Sorbara Construction Corp., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=311441406 38 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 312099252 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 4-9. 39 Worksheet, Inspection: 312099252 – Desiderio Masonry, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17. 40 Inspection: 312099252 – Desiderio Masonry, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=312099252 41 Worksheet, Inspection: 109179366 – AvalonBay Communities Incorporated, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 2. 42 Inspection: 109179366 – Avalonbay Communities Incorporated, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.

gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=109179366 43 General Incident Report, AvalonBay Communities Inc., April 28, 2010: at page 2. 44 Worksheet, Inspection: 314487786 – Avalon Bay Communities Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 2; Inspection Narrative, Inspection: 314487786 – Avalon Bay Communities Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 5. 45 Inspection 314487786 – Avalon Bay Communities Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=314487786 46 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 314978883 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 6-8. 47 Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards, Complaint Number 207873415, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 48 Worksheet, Inspection: 314679754 – Avalonbay Communities, Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 1-2. 49 Informal Settlement Agreement, In the Matter of: AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Inspection: 314679754, Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 50 Inspection: 304989031 – Shawnlee Construction Inc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha. gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=304989031; Inspection: 113797732 – Shawnlee Construction Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=113797732; Inspection: 305550360 – Shawnlee Construction, Incorporated; Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=305550360; Inspection: 306810631 – Shawnlee Construction, Incorporated, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=306810631; Inspection: 306813601 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=306813601; Inspection: 308298660 – Shawnlee Construction, L.L.C., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment. inspection_detail?id=308298660; Inspection: 307662528 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=307662528; Inspection: 308658806 – Shawnlee Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_ detail?id=308658806; Inspection: 308106616 – Shawnlee Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www. osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=308106616; Inspection: 308349927 – Shawnlee Construction Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=308349927; Inspection: 309563518 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational

AvalonBay | 19


Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/ establishment.inspection_detail?id=309563518; Inspection: 309793073 – Shawnlee Construction Inc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=309793073; Inspection: 309793206 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment. inspection_detail?id=309793206; Inspection: 308278381 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=308278381; Inspection: 123206005 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_ detail?id=123206005; Inspection: 310152368 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www. osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310152368; Inspection: 310155577 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310155577; Inspection: 310187885 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=310187885; Inspection: 309560183 – Shawnlee Construction, Llc., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment. inspection_detail?id=309560183; Inspection: 310159926 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_ detail?id=310159926; Inspection: 312589302 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www. osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=312589302; Inspection: 311592430 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=311592430; Inspection: 313799058 – Shawnlee Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment. inspection_detail?id=313799058 51 Inspection: 312589302 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/ pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=312589302; “Fall hazard at Chelsea, Mass., worksite leads to $70,000 in U.S. Labor Department OSHA fines for Plainville, Mass., contractor,” OSHA Regional News Release, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Public Affairs, March 4, 2009, https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=17531; Inspection: 311592430 – Shawnlee Construction Llc, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=311592430; Inspection: 313799058 – Shawnlee Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment. inspection_detail?id=313799058 52 Kathryn Jones, “The Way of AvalonBay,” Construction Today, September 2011: at page 34. 53 Danielle Legette vs. Avalon Bay, LLC, et al., Complaint: at page 4. 54 “Monthly Accident Details – Jaunuary 01, 2009 to December 31, 2009,” New York City Department of Buildings, page 13 of 20;

ECB Violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34800007J, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=13&ecbin=34800007J ; Overview for Complaint #:3315431 = RESOVLED, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/OverviewForCompla intServlet?requestid=15&vlcompdetlkey=0001204498 55 ECB Violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34749832Z, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ ECBQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=12&ecbin=34749832Z 56 Overview for Complaint #: 311069=RESOVLED, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/OverviewFor ComplaintServlet?requestid=17&vlcompdetlkey=0001189966 57 “Monthly Accident Details – January 01, 2009 – December 31, 2009,” NYC Department of Buildings, http://home2.nyc.gov/html/ dob/downloads/pdf/cons_accident_monthly_0809.pdf 58 “Monthly Accident Details – January 01, 2009 – December 31, 2009,” NYC Department of Buildings, http://home2.nyc.gov/html/ dob/downloads/pdf/cons_accident_monthly_0809.pdf; Overview for Complaint #: 311069=RESOVLED, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/OverviewForComplaintSe rvlet?requestid=17&vlcompdetlkey=0001189966 59 ECB Violation Details, EcB Violation Number: 34769089J, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=12&ecbin=34769089J 60 Luke Rosa vs. Avalon Gold, LLC, et al., Verified Complaint: at page 6. 61 Stephen Spratley vs. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Verified Bill of Particulars: at pages 1, 3. 62 Stephen Spratley vs. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Stipulation of Discontinuance: at page 1. 63 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection 314066648 – Avalonbay Communities Incorporated, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at pages 5-6; Penalty Payment Report, U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA, June 7, 2010, pages 1-2. 64 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 314978883 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc. , U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 65 ECB violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34749831R, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=13&ecbin=34749831R ; ECB violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34749996P, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=16&ecbin=34749996P ; ECB violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34769091Z, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=13&ecbin=34769091Z ; ECB Violation Details, ECB Violation Number: 34790471R, NYC Department of Buildings, http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ECB QueryByNumberServlet?requestid=14&ecbin=34790471R

AvalonBay | 20


66 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 312355647 – Avalonbay Communities, Inc., State of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health: at page 5 of 6.

Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 2; “Employment Relationship Analysis,” Occupational Safety and Health Administration, May 23, 2007: at page 1.

67 Citation and Notification of Penalty, Inspection: 310882360 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Inspection Narrative, Inspection: 310882360 – Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 2.

78 Jorge Pintado vs. National Carpentry Contractors, Inc. and AvalonBay Communities, Inc. vs. Caballero Construction, Inc., Third Party Complaint and Jury Demand of the Defendant/Third Party Plaintiff, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.: at page 4.

68 Construction Safety Program, Avalon Cohasset, Cohasset, MA: at page 5. 69 Worksheet, Inspection: 310882394 – Caballero Construction Company, U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration: at page 12. 70 Inspection: 311441406 – Sorbara Construction Corp., Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/pls/ imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=311441406 71 Enforcement Case File Information, Inspection: 31154715 – Avalonbay Communities Inc, Washington Department of Labor and Industries – Division of Occupational Safety and Health: at page 4. 72 “Multiple Contractors to Pay a Total of Over $36,000 in Fines and Restitution for Violating Wage and Hour Laws on Various Sites Developed by AvalonBay Communities, Inc.” Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General press release, February 25, 2009. 73 Report of Field Investigation, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, May 17, 2007: at pp. 1-4. 74 Jorge Pintado v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Deposition of Alejandro Manoslava: at pp. 44-45. 75 Elizabeth Kim, “Contractor Charged with Cheating Day Laborers to be Arraigned,” Stamford Advocate, February 25, 2009. 76 Jorge Pintado v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum: at page 3. 77 Worksheet, Inspection Number: 310882394, U.S. Department of

79 See, for example, Pintado v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc. and National Carpentry Contractors, Inc. v. Caballero Construction, Inc., Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum: at pages 5-6. 80 Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., et al vs. State of New York Workers’ Compensation Board, Verified Petition: at page 2. 81 “Multiple Contractors to Pay a Total of Over $36,000 in Fines and Restitution for Violating Wage and Hour Laws on Various Sites Developed by AvalonBay Communities, Inc.” Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General press release, February 25, 2009, available at: http://massbuildingtrades.org/sites/massbuildingtrades.org/ files/Citation%20-%20Multiple%20Contractors.pdf 82 Stop Work Orders Issued for Failure to Provide Coverage, State of Connecticut, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/StopWork/ StopWork.pdf 83 “Our Culture,” AvalonBay Communities, Inc., http://www.avalonbay.com/avalon/site/pages/index.html?code=r.careers.coc 84 Summary of AVB Benefit Changes for 2012 Plan Year – distributed in BluePrint for Success: Benefits Highlights & Enrollment Kit 2012, AvalonBay Communities, Inc. 85 Richard Spivey, Personal Statement, February 22, 2012; Jonathan Garcia, Personal Statement, March 9, 2012. 86 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. DEF 14A SEC Filing, March 29, 2012: at pages 23, 24. 87 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. DEF 14A SEC Filing, March 29, 2012: at page 25. 88 AvalonBay Communities, Inc. DEF 14A SEC Filing, March 29, 2012: at page 26.

AvalonBay | 21


www.troublingdevelopments.org

April 2012

Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ 25 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011

Troubling Developments  

The History of Safety Problems, Law-Breaking Contractors, and Unaffordable Health Insurance at AvalonBay Communities

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you