Coakley

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - An asbestos abatement company has agreed to a settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office for intentionally failing to pay the prevailing wage and failing to pay overtime at various public construction sites in Massachusetts.

Nealco Environmental Services, Inc., and its owner, Neal Cass, have agreed to pay $12,000 in fines and a total of more than $122,200 in restitution to employees for the violations. Nealco and Cass will pay an additional $6,000 in fines for failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to local awarding authorities at three public construction projects and $2,000 in fines for failure to submit certified payroll records on a weekly basis.

Cass and his company have also agreed to refrain from bidding on or contracting for public construction work in Massachusetts for a period of two years.

An investigation into Cass and Nealco began following an Aug. 2008 complaint that alleged that the prevailing wage for asbestos removal work at various public construction projects was not paid.

The Prevailing Wage Laws in Massachusetts apply to all construction work performed on public works projects and allow all contracts bidding on public works projects to enjoy a level playing field by standardizing the rate of pay that workers will earn.

The investigation revealed that, from Oct. 2007-Feb. 2008, 31 employees were not paid prevailing wages at the public works project at the Taunton Riverside Apartments complex in Taunton. Cass and Nealco will pay almost $40,800 in restitution to affected employees who worked on that project.

Twenty-three employees were not paid prevailing wages from Feb. 2007-July 2007 for work at the public works Buena Vista Housing project in Devens, Mass. More than $30,800 in restitution will by paid by Cass and Nealco to affected workers on that project. Seven other employees at that project will also be paid over a total of $10,000 in unpaid overtime for that project.

Cass and Nealco were also found to have failed to pay a prevailing wage to 17 employees from Dec. 2007-June 2008 for work at the public works project Rainbow Apartments in Salem. Cass and Nealco will pay over $37,500 in restitution for that project.

Cass and Nealco submitted certified payroll records for those three projects to the awarding authorities that stated that a prevailing wage was paid for work at those three projects.

Cass and Nealco were also found to have failed to pay prevailing wages from Sept. 2006-May 2008 at dozens of additional public works job sites in Billerica, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy, Weymouth, East Falmouth, Lynn, Lexington, Falmouth, Saugus, Fall River, and Boston. The company did not submit certified payroll records for those projects. Cass and Nealco will pay over $2,700 in restitution for those projects.

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