Coakley takes action against subcontractors over wages

Bryan Cohen Jan. 18, 2012, 1:32pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced enforcement actions on Wednesday against subcontractors working at Pulte Homes in eastern Massachusetts.

Coakley is requiring them to pay more than $400,000 in unpaid wages and penalties. Named in the action were AM Construction Services and its president Adimar Demoura; Five Star Construction and president Alexandre Miranda; Nunes Brothers Construction and president Tiago Aguiar M. Nunes; Seven Seas Group and president Jackson Croscup; and Two Brothers Construction and president Wellington DeLima Borges.

The enforcement actions are the result of work by Coakley's office, the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Coakley's office and the JTF received wage and hour complaints against multiple subcontractors earlier this year who were working at sites operated by Pulte Homes. The complaints alleged that workers were not paid for overtime and for all hours worked. The workers were allegedly paid in cash and by checks that frequently bounced.

The five employers were ordered to pay $408,777.75 in unpaid wages and penalties. The failures were the result of alleged misclassification of workers as independent contractors, failure to furnish records for inspection, failure to issue suitable pay stubs and failure to pay wages and overtime.

AM Construction Services and Demoura allegedly failed to pay workers a total of $15,331.50 for private residential framing work in Plymouth and Braintree. They also received a fine of $22,500.

Five Stars Construction and Miranda allegedly failed to pay two workers $30,700 in total for framing work done on a Natick private condominium project. They also received a fine of $30,000.

Nunes Brothers Construction and Nunes allegedly failed to pay a total of $99,086.75 to 23 workers for framing work done on single-family homes and condominiums in Northbridge, Natick, Plymouth and Braintree. They received a fine of $112,500.

Seven Seas Group and Croscup allegedly failed to pay $10,333 to five workers who did framing work on a Natick private condominium project. They received $20,075 in penalties.

Two Brothers Construction and Borges allegedly failed to pay $34,751 to six workers for framing work done in a Plymouth private home development project. They were fined $34,500.

"All workers in the commonwealth deserve to be paid for the wages they have earned, including their overtime," Coakley said. "We will continue to work together and take appropriate action to stop these unlawful business practices, level the playing field for companies and protect workers."

The JTF is a coalition of state agencies including the Departments of Industrial Accidents and Unemployment Insurance, the Department of Revenue and Coakley's office. The agencies work together to restore competitive equality and protect workers at Massachusetts' businesses.

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