Employees’ complaints concerning wage and hour laws, including nonpayment of wages, misclassification of employees, record-keeping violations and failure to pay the prevailing wage have resulted in numerous recent investigations and citations by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office (“AG”). A Rhode Island Construction Company has agreed to pay over $66,000 in restitution and fines for failure to pay the prevailing wage on Massachusetts projects. A Norwood car dealership was required to pay $280,000 in restitution, as well as a $7,500 penalty to the Commonwealth for failure to properly calculate overtime. An Everett construction company will pay $40,000 in restitution for misclassifying their employees as independent contractors and failing to pay the prevailing wage. The company was debarred from working on public construction projects in the Commonwealth for three months. A Worcester company that provided temporary labor services was ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution for multiple violations. The Commonwealth recommended that the owner serve a three to five year jail sentence. He pled guilty to the charges in Superior Court and was ordered to serve five years probation. There are additional recent citations and orders for restitution, but you get the picture.
The legislature in 2008 amended the Massachusetts wage and hour laws requiring employers to pay triple damages for any violations. Judges therefore no longer have discretion to decide whether an employer acted in good faith. A $30,000 violation of the wage and hour laws will be tripled (or trebled, in lawyer-speak) and will cost the company $90,000.
If you’ve worked over 40 hours in one week and haven’t been paid overtime, you may be owed wages under the wage and hour laws. Individuals who are 1099 contractors and not employees may be be owed wages and benefits. The laws in Massachusetts are very employee-friendly.
If you any questions about Massachusetts employment laws, contact Boston, Massachusetts employment lawyer Maura Greene, Law Office of Maura Greene, LLC, Six Beacon St., Suite 205, Boston, MA 02108, at 617-936-1580. Call us, we’re friendly!