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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

AG HEALEY ASSESSES MORE THAN $2.7 MILLION IN PENALTIES AND RESTITUTION AGAINST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES IN 2018

AG HEALEY ASSESSES MORE THAN $2.7 MILLION IN PENALTIES AND RESTITUTION AGAINST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES IN 2018
      
BOSTON – As part of an ongoing initiative to combat wage theft in the construction industry, Attorney General Maura Healey issued 165 civil citations against 66 construction companies in 2018. Restitution exceeded $1.47 million for more than 1,030 employees of the various employers, and the companies were fined a total of more than $1.23 million. 

            “Workers in the construction industry are particularly vulnerable to wage theft from dishonest contractors who cheat their workers,” said AG Healey. “As Massachusetts undergoes a historic construction boom, my office will continue to fight for exploited workers and ensure they are paid the wages they earn.”

            Violations in these cases included the failure to pay proper wages, failure to pay overtime, retaliation, and failure to furnish records for inspection. For work performed on public construction projects, violations included failure to pay the prevailing wage, failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records, and failure to register and pay apprentices appropriately.

Some of the 2018 enforcement actions include citations against the following construction companies:

  • ERA Equipment LLC and its owners Angelo and Kristen Ciardiello were cited more than $585,000 in restitution and penalties for failure to pay prevailing wage and proper overtime with specific intent, failure to keep true and accurate payroll records, failure to provide suitable paystubs with specific intent, and failure to make timely payment of wages.

  • EJ Paving Company Inc. and its President Thomas Evangelista were cited more than $172,000 for failure to pay proper overtime.

  • J. Donlon and Sons Inc., Joseph M. Donlon Sr., and his two sons, Joseph M. Donlon Jr. and Sean Donlon, were ordered to pay more than $121,000 for intentionally failing to pay prevailing wage, failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records, failing to pay the state minimum wage, and failing to maintain true and accurate general payroll records.

  • Moccia Concrete Construction LLC and its managers Andrea and John Heikkinen were cited more than $67,000 in restitution and penalties for misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor, failure to pay prevailing wage, failure to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis, and failure to furnish true and accurate payroll records to the AG’s Office.

  • Gemstone LLC and its manager Cameron Jewell were cited more than $45,000 for failing to pay the proper prevailing wage and failing to pay overtime for work performed at a Massachusetts Department of Transportation project in Springfield.

As a part of its continued efforts to protect workers and their families in Massachusetts, the AG’s Office issued its third annual Labor Day Report on the office’s efforts to address wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation last month. The report shows that in fiscal year 2018, the office opened 729 cases and assessed more than $9.6 million in restitution and penalties against employers on behalf of working people in Massachusetts.

            AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, earned sick time and overtime laws. Workers who believe their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint atwww.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft. For 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 websitewww.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.

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