BOSTON (Legal Newsline) –- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has announced a settlement with three companies to resolve allegations of wage and hour law violations resulting in over $2.8 million in penalties, fines and restitution.
Tri State Drywall Systems LLC, National Water Main Clearing Company and Central Mass Disposal allegedly violated the state’s prevailing wage laws and/or the state’s misclassification law resulting in workers being underpaid by approximately $1.7 million. The companies were also fined more than $1 million for the violations.
“The prevailing wage laws provide a level playing field for contractors engaged in public work.” Coakley said Thursday. “Our office is committed to holding accountable contractors who skirt the law by cutting corners and misclassifying their workers at the expense of their employees and the taxpayers.”
The Nashua, N.H.-based Tri State and owner Ivelisse Soto allegedly violated the state prevailing wage law and the requirement to maintain payroll records connected with public works projects throughout the state. The company must pay more than $928,000 in restitution and fines. Workers allegedly were not properly paid for work they performed.
Coakley’s office alleged that Tri State failed to pay its workers the proper prevailing wage and failed to submit accurate and true certified payroll records to the awarding authorities for multiple construction projects. In addition, the company allegedly classified all its workers as independent contractors and paid them with company checks.
Tri State cooperated completely with Coakley’s office on the case and conducted a self-audit of its records for all 10 projects connected to work performing between August 2010 and October 2011 at sites in Weston, Waltham, Bridgewater, Lowell, Fitchburg, Salem, Worcester, Chelmsford and Billerica.
Coakley’s office alleged that Tri State intentionally failed to pay the prevailing wage, intentionally failed to submit accurate and true certified payroll and misclassified its workers as independent contractors. Tri State must pay $478,602.25 in restitution and $450,000 in penalties to the state.
The Newark, N.J.-based National Water Main and Salvatore F. Perri, its president, allegedly failed to pay the prevailing wage and failed to submit accurate and true payroll records to the proper awarding authorities. The company and its owner must pay more than $1 million for allegedly intentionally violating the state’s prevailing wage laws.
National Water Main allegedly intentionally violated the prevailing wage law by failing to pay the prevailing wage to any employees performing multiple tasks, such as sewer maintenance, repair work and cleaning in the state.
National Water Main must pay more than $506,000 in restitution to 84 employees who worked on various public construction projects throughout the state between March 2008 and January 2011. The company must also pay $500,000 in penalties for alleged prevailing wage violations and $50,000 in penalties for failure to submit accurate and true payroll records to the required awarding authorities.
The Auburn-based Central Mass Disposal must pay more than $870,000 in penalties and restitution to resolve allegations that it violated the state’s prevailing wage laws. Coakley’s Fair Labor Division started looking into the company in December 2010 after receiving multiple complaints alleging that Central Mass Disposal was in violation of the prevailing wage laws.
Central Mass Disposal provided recyclable material and solid waste collection services to eight communities, including Auburn, Grafton, Millville, Paxton, Sterling, Ludlow, East Longmeadow and Longmeadow. The company allegedly failed to pay the proper prevailing wage to its employees who performed work that was pursuant to contracts with the communities.
Central Mass Disposal cooperated fully with the case and agreed to conduct a self-audit for the years between 2008 and 2010. The company will pay $753,624.45 in restitution to 107 employees and a civil penalty of $120,000 to the state.