BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last Friday that nearly $5 million in restitution and penalties was recovered for labor and wage violations in the state in 2011.
The penalty and restitution payments resulted from cases handled by Coakley's Fair Labor Division. The division recovered approximately $4.5 million in restitution for close to 4,400 workers with approximately $500,000 in penalties paid to the state.
"Our office brings enforcement actions not only to protect employees, but to ensure that businesses are operating on a level playing field and to promote strong economic growth throughout the commonwealth," Coakley said. "Companies must be held accountable to ensure that employees are paid the wages and receive the benefits that they have rightfully earned."
Coakley's Fair Labor Division enforces laws that protect workers, including the public construction bid, holiday and Sunday premium pay, child labor, tip pooling, overtime, payment of wages, minimum wage, overtime and prevailing wage laws. The division looks into cases and enforces legal violations through civil and criminal enforcement actions. The division uses its authority to protect employees from various labor violations by employers to promote transparency and fairness.
The Bid Unit within the division also handled close to 100 bid protests, some of which were brought by whistleblowers in an attempt to bring integrity to bid procedures in their area.