(Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Feb. 2
that Universal Drywall LLC (Universal) has agreed to a $500,000 settlement after
allegations it misclassified employees on multiple public construction
allegations, Universal and owner Richard Pelletier of Auburn, New Hampshire, violated the
state’s Consumer Protection Act and False Claims Act. To save costs, the
company would purportedly misclassify its workers. Workers were, therefore, allegedly unfairly paid less. This allowed the company to offer its services at a more
competitive rate, allegedly.
projects Universal committed the alleged violations on were One North of Boston,
Tahanto Regional High School and the Douglas Intermediate School.
“We found that Universal Drywall systematically misclassified
its employees as independent contractors to gain an unfair advantage over
honest competitors,” Healey said. “This settlement sends a clear
message that wage theft will not succeed as a business strategy in
The agreement stipulates $250,000 of
the $500,000 penalty will be suspended so long as Universal complies with the
terms of the settlement.
was handled for Massachusetts by Matthew Berge, assistant attorney general
Jennifer Cotter, assistant attorney general Amber Villa, and assistant attorney
general Jennifer Scully, all of Healey's Fair Labor Division.