Multiple Contractors Fined For Violating Wage Laws

                               
Boston, MA (CompNewsNetwork) - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has issued citations against three construction companies, and has also reached settlement agreements with two other construction companies which performed work at several sites developed by AvalonBay Communities, Inc., a national company headquartered in Virginia with offices in Massachusetts. The construction companies violated the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law and the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.  

Beginning in February 2007, the Attorney General's Office received numerous complaints claiming that workers were being misclassified as independent contractors on various AvalonBay construction projects throughout Massachusetts. Investigators from the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division conducted field site inspections and issued records requests to the companies performing work at the projects. The investigations and audits of the records revealed violations of the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws. As a result of the investigation, the Attorney General's Office has taken action against the following companies:

    * AMC Building Construction, LLC, its owner, Jocelyne Boduc, age 50, of Thorndike, and the company's manager, Richard Bernard, age 61, also of Thorndike, have agreed to accept an unintentional civil citation, with a $10,000 penalty, for violation of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law while performing drywall and finished carpentry work at the Lexington AvalonBay project site.  In addition to the penalty, the company has agreed to a compliance plan, which will allow the Attorney General's Office to monitor the company to ensure its compliance with the Wage and Hour, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and employee payroll laws;
    * National Carpentry Contractors, based in Connecticut and Tennessee, and its owner, John A. Kirk, age 56, have been cited a total of $15,000 in penalties for violating the state's Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law and for failing to provide pay stubs to employees while performing carpentry work at AvalonBay projects in Woburn and Lexington;
    * DaVinci Construction Company of Massachusetts, Inc., and its President, Arthur Cipoletti, of West Bayshore, NY, which performed work at the AvalonBay project in Lexington, have agreed to a compliance plan, which will allow the Attorney General's Office to monitor the company and its subcontractors to ensure compliance with the Massachusetts Wage and Hour, the unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and employee payroll laws;
    * F.A. Construction, Inc., a Revere construction company, and its owners Francisco and Miriam Antunez, were cited over $11,000 for violations that occurred while performing framing work at the Lexington AvalonBay project.  The company and its owners must pay over $1,000 in restitution as well as $5,000 in penalties to the Commonwealth for failing to pay one employee and failing to provide a proper pay stub to the employee in January 2007 through February 2007.  In addition, the company must pay a $5,000 fine for failing to provide records for inspection to a representative of the Attorney General's Office in March 2007;
    * C & K Sub-Contractors and its owner Chong Kim, of Fairfax, Virginia were cited $5,000 for failing to provide records for inspection to a representative of the Attorney General's Office for work performed at the AvalonBay Hingham Shipyard project.  In August, 2008, the Governor's Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification received a referral which prompted investigators from the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Department of Industrial Accidents (EOLWD/DIA) to conduct a joint site inspection.  The Joint Task Force comprises multiple state agencies, including the Attorney General's Office and the EOLWD/DIA, which work cooperatively to share information and prosecute fraudulent employer activities. As a result of EOLWD/DIA's initial investigation, a "stop work order" was issued to C&K Sub-Contractors after determining that the company failed to have workers' compensation coverage.

The matter was settled by Assistant Attorney General Joanne Goldstein, Chief of the Fair Labor Division and investigated by Greg Reutlinger, Deputy Chief of Investigations of the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.

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