Coakley settles with staffing firm

Bryan Cohen Sep. 6, 2012, 1:18pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced settlements on Wednesday with a temporary staffing firm and its client company to resolve allegations that they failed to properly pay more than 1,200 workers at a Woburn facility.

Workers at the former Titterington's Olde English Bake Shoppe Ltd. were employed jointly by EDA Staffing Inc., a Foxborough-based staffing agency, and CSM Bakery Products NA Inc., the bakery's new owner. The workers alleged that they were not being paid for all hours worked and received unlawful deductions in their wages.

Under the terms of the settlement, the companies will pay more than $649,000 in civil penalties and restitution.

Coakley thanked the Chelsea Collaborative and Greater Boston Legal Services for providing information to identify violations and for enabling effective communication with the workers in the settlements.

"Our office receives many complaints every year from workers employed by temporary staffing firms," Coakley said. "Employers cannot offload their wage obligations onto temp agencies or simply look the other way. Temp agencies and the companies that use them have serious obligations and will be held equally liable as joint employers."

Coakley's office found that EDA and CSM were jointly liable for the unpaid wages of the workers. CSM fully cooperated in the matter and agreed to pay $520,000 to workers for restitution in addition to paying a civil penalty to the state.

In December, EDA agreed to reimburse 39 workers as part of a settlement, paying more than $51,000 in restitution and penalties. After the settlement, Coakley's office received 67 additional complaints from workers about the company. Under the terms of Wednesday's settlement, EDA will pay restitution to the additional workers of $77,000, in addition to a civil penalty.

The settlement also requires that EDA provide on-site training for EDA managers and supervisors on hour and wage laws. The company must also distribute job notices to future and current employees to give workers important information about their rights on the job and their work assignments.

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