Agreement reached over prevailing wages issue
BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Tuesday that a New Bedford, Mass., drywall contractor and his company have been debarred from contracting for or bidding on work on public construction sites in Massachusetts for 10 years.
The debarment occurred under an agreed-upon judgment obtained in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Pursuant to the judgment, Emmanuel Garcia and his company, Garcia Drywall Inc., also must pay $18,120 in fines for alleged violations of the state's wage and hour laws.
"All workers must be paid properly for their services," Coakley said. "Not only did Garcia and his company violate the law, they failed to follow through with our agreement for addressing previous violations. Businesses and business owners must recognize that adherence to the wage and hour law is a serious obligation that carries stern penalties for violations."
Garcia and Garcia Drywall admitted to intentionally violating the Prevailing Wage Law, the Prevailing Wage Records Keeping Law and the Overtime Law. They agreed to pay $6,090 in fines and more than $18,000 in wages to 26 workers due to a failure to pay the prevailing wage at four Massachusetts public construction sites.
Garcia and Garcia Drywall also agreed to pay $9,030 in fines and more than $23,000 in wages to 86 additional employees for a failure to pay overtime and $3,000 in fines for a failure to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authorities at the construction projects.
Coakley's office had previously entered into a settlement agreement with Garcia and Garcia Drywall in May 2009. Coakley issued three intentional citations pursuant to that settlement.
In the 2009 agreement, Garcia and Garcia Drywall agreed to a one year debarment and made one $10,000 payment to the nearly $42,000 owed in restitution.
Garcia and his wife filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy while Garcia Drywall filed for corporate bankruptcy in July 2009. Coakley's office filed a complaint in the personal bankruptcy proceeding objecting to the dischargeability of approximately $18,000 in fines Garcia owed. Garcia, his wife and Garcia Drywall entered into a second agreement with Coakley's office in which they agreed to repay the fines they owed and enter the 10 year debarment.