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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

THREE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES CITED FOR FAILING TO PROPERLY PAY WORKERS ON PUBLIC PROJECTS

THREE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES CITED FOR FAILING TO PROPERLY PAY WORKERS ON PUBLIC PROJECTS
AG’s Office Continues to Address Wage Theft in the Construction Industry; Assessed Nearly $2.5 Million in Restitution and Penalties in 2017

BOSTON – Three Massachusetts construction companies have been cited more than $180,000 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay the proper prevailing wage rate to employees for work performed on public works projects as well as other violations of state wage laws, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

The AG’s Office issued citations against One Way Painting & Roofing, Inc. and former owner Gerasimos Moschopoulos, LGR 1, Inc. and president Leonel R. Garcia and treasurer George A. Secchiaroli, and C&E Concrete Construction Co. and president Edward Krasner.

“These companies received taxpayer funds for construction projects in our communities, but failed to pay the wages required under state law,” said AG Healey. “Our office enforces these laws to ensure that all contractors meet their commitments to the public and can’t gain a competitive advantage by not following the law.”
The AG’s Office has prioritized addressing wage theft in the construction industry. In calendar year 2017, the AG’s Fair Labor Division issued 114 citations against 53 employers in the construction industry, for a total of nearly $2.5 million in assessed restitution and penalties impacting more than 650 workers.

Under the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law, contractors and subcontractors engaged in public construction projects must pay their employees a special minimum wage. The required wage rate is based on the occupational classification for the type of work the employees perform.

ONE WAY PAINTING & ROOFING/MOSCHOPOULOS
The AG’s Office issued three citations totaling $35,055 in restitution and penalties against Lynn-based One Way Painting & Roofing, Inc. (One Way) and owner Gerasimos Moschopoulos for the unintentional Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage, Failure to Submit True and Accurate Payroll Records, and Violation of Earned Sick Time Law. The company has paid the restitution in full and has agreed to pay the penalty amounts in full.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after receiving a complaint from the Lowell Housing Authority indicating that One Way appeared to be paying employees a lower rate of pay as labor apprentices instead of roofers on the Garland House roof replacement public works project. Subsequent investigation confirmed that several employees were being paid at the incorrect prevailing wage rate. 

Additionally, the company, although it offered sick leave to employees, was not properly accruing the leave, nor was it accurately tracking use. One Way also failed to submit sufficient payroll records. The company has since come into full compliance with state labor laws.

LGR 1/GARCIA/SECCHIAROLI

The AG’s Office issued five citations totaling $110,046 in restitution and penalties against Lowell-based LGR 1, Inc. and the company’s president Leonel R. Garcia and its treasurer George A. Secchiaroli for Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage, Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records, Failure to Submit Weekly Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority, Failure to Keep True and Accurate Payroll Records, and Failure to Furnish a Suitable Pay Slip.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation into the company after receiving a complaint from a worker claiming he worked for LGR 1 on several Massachusetts public works projects and was not paid the prescribed prevailing wage rate for work performed within the roofer classification.

The investigation revealed that workers were not paid the Department of Labor Standards (DLS) prescribed hourly rate for roofers on two public works projects—Wareham’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Reroofing Works Public Works project and the Salem Housing Authority’s Roof Replacement at 27 Charter Street. The investigation further revealed the payroll records were not accurate as they did not list employee addresses, did not list the hourly rate actually paid to the employees and, on one occasion, listed deductions for fringe benefits that were not actually provided to the employees. Also, there were several weeks during which payroll records were either submitted to the awarding authorities late or not submitted at all. Pay slips were not provided to employees with their checks. 

The AG’s Office has received complaints in the past against a different roofing company, A C & R, Inc., owned by these two principals. The AG’s Office issued citations against that A C & R, Garcia, and Secchiarolia in 2010 and in 2011 which resulted in restitution and penalties being paid.

C&E CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION/KRASNER

            The AG’s Office issued two citations totaling $35,285 in restitution and penalties against Rhode Island-based concrete company C&E Concrete Construction Co. and president Edward Krasner for Failure to Pay the Prevailing Wage and Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after a referral from Laborers Local #175 alleging that C&E was not paying its employees the prevailing wage for work performed on the Nicholson Stadium Clubhouse public works project in Methuen.

The investigation found that C&E listed on its certified payroll records that its employees were receiving the prescribed prevailing wage rate when in fact they were being paid significantly less. Employees were paid $13 to $25 per hour rather than the DLS prescribed hourly rate for laborers of $50.75. 

The investigation also revealed that the company’s certified payroll records were not accurate and falsely listed that employees were paid the prescribed prevailing wage rate and also listed fringe benefits for which C&E claimed a credit even though they weren’t provided to employees.

One Way Painting was handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Goyer andSupervising Investigator Greg Reutlinger, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division. The other cases are being handled by Assistant Attorney General Barbara Dillon DeSouza and Inspector Brian Davies on C&E and Inspector Joseph Drzyzga on the LGR 1 matter, all of Attorney General Healey’s Fair Labor Division.

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheftFor information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the Attorney General’s new Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.