Coakley settles wages suit

Nick Rees Mar. 23, 2010, 12:00am


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has announced a settlement with a construction company and its owner resolving allegations of violations of wage and hour laws.

Under the settlement agreement, Diaz Construction and Leonel Diaz, its president, will pay $142,000 in restitution to 129 former and current employees as well as a $20,000 penalty to Massachusetts.

The investigation into Diaz Construction's employment practices by Coakley's Fair Labor Division began in June 2008 after complaints from former Diaz Construction employees were received. The complaints alleged that the employees had not be paid the proper rate for overtime pay.

Diaz and his company cooperated fully throughout the investigation, providing payroll records for the period between July 2006- and June 2008, Coakley said. The company's self-audit of the payroll records revealed that Diaz had unintentionally failed to pay his employees time-and-a-half for overtime hours worked between July 2006-May 2008.

Most employers in the commonwealth, under the Massachusetts overtime law, are required to pay time-and-a-half to employees for any hours over 40 worked per week, Coakley said.

The Fair Labor Division is responsible for the enforcement of the prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws in the commonwealth as well as the payment of wage laws.

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