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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

NEW YORK-BASED RAIL SYSTEM COMPANY TO PAY MORE THAN $220,000 FOR OVERTIME AND PAYROLL VIOATIONS ON PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS

 NEW YORK-BASED RAIL SYSTEM COMPANY TO PAY MORE THAN $220,000 FOR OVERTIME AND PAYROLL VIOATIONS ON PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS  

Restitution Provided for 84 Employees Not Paid Properly for Railroad Improvement Projects 

BOSTON A New York-based rail system construction and maintenance company and its owner will pay more than $220,000 in restitution and penalties to resolve allegations that it failed to pay the proper overtime rate to workers on public works projects in the Berkshires, on Cape Cod, and in Framingham, and failed to submit accurate certified payroll records, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. 

 

Railworks Track Systems, Inc. and its President Gene J. Cellini, were issued a citation for improperly paying its employees on five public works projects by not including all wages paid to the employees when calculating overtime, and for failing to properly account for different hourly rates of pay earned by employees during the same work week. Railworks Track Systems was also cited for failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis. The five public works projects involved railroad improvement work performed in cities and towns including Hyannis, Falmouth, Framingham, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield, Sheffield, and Stockbridge.  

“Companies must pay their employees the wages they’ve earned and are legally entitled to,” said AG Healey. “We are pleased to have secured this relief for the more than 80 affected workers, and hope that this sends a message to employers that we hold them accountable if they do not properly compensate their workers.”  

 The AG’s Office began investigating Railworks Track Systems in 2020 after receiving a referral from the Foundation for Fair Contracting of Massachusetts, alleging that the company was improperly paying its employees. During the investigation, it was revealed that Railworks Track Systems did not include employee addresses on their certified payroll records submissions, and that the company claimed a type of fringe benefit that is not permitted under Massachusetts prevailing wage laws. The improperly claimed fringe amounts were paid to employees each week, but the amounts were not included in the calculation of overtime. 

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. Employers may take deductions from employees’ prevailing wages to pay for contributions to certain bona fide benefit plans, including retirement plans such as 401(k) plans. Additionally, if an employee works in different occupational classifications or otherwise earns more than two rates of pay during the same workweek, the employer must account for the different hourly rates of pay when overtime is calculated. 


Any workers who believe their rights have been violated in the workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.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 Workplace Rights website for materials in multiple languages.  

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Barbara DeSouza, and Inspector Joseph Drzyzga of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.  

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