Trucking company ordered to pay restitution

Bryan Cohen May 26, 2011, 2:24am


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Monday that a Lynn, Mass., trucking company and its owner have been ordered to pay restitution and penalties for alleged labor violations.

Hope Trucking and Demo Inc. allegedly failed to provide pay stubs, failed to pay the prevailing wage and made record keeping violations. The company was cited for allegedly owning over $140,603.70 in wages to 20 employees who performed work at three public construction sites in the state.

"Any employer that does business with the state must abide by all of our laws, which includes properly paying workers on all public construction projects," Coakley said. "These laws are designed to protect workers and also level the playing field for all businesses across the Commonwealth."

The company is owned by Frank A. Hope, III. Coakley's office also fined Hope and his company $70,000 for alleged willful failure to pay the prevailing wage; $30,000 for alleged willful failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authorities at the three public construction sites; $25,000 for alleged willful failure to provide pay stubs to their employees; and $25,000 for alleged willful failure to keep true and accurate general payroll records. The company was fined $150,000 in total in civil penalties.

Coakley's Fair Labor Division received an anonymous complaint in February that the company and owner failed to pay the correct prevailing wage rate for work performed at the Runkle School projects in Brookline. Coakley's office alleges that Hope was paying several laborers between $14 and $22 per hour in cash but was not providing pay stubs. Coakley alleges that Hope and Hope Trucking submitted to the awarding authority that they had paid the employees $49.35 per hour, the correct prevailing wage.

After demands to send in general and certified payroll records for all of 2010 through part of February 2011, Hope and Hope Trucking allegedly submitted no payroll records that demonstrated what they paid employees during the project. While the company and owner did submit certified payroll records for two other public construction work projects, they allegedly did not provide Coakley's office with records showing any payment of wages to their employees.

Coakley's office is responsible for enforcing laws that regulate the payment of overtime, wages and misclassification of employees in the commonwealth.

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