BOSTON – An Ashland contractor has been cited for more than $100,000 in restitution and penalties for intentionally violating the Massachusetts prevailing wage law and failing to submit true and accurate payroll records, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today, July 29.
On-Time Construction Services, Inc. (On-Time) and owner Jonatas Vicente De Brito Barcelos have been cited $117,082 in restitution and penalties for not paying their workers the required prevailing wage rate (with specific intent) and failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records (with specific intent).
“When contractors win public construction bids and then fail to pay their workers the wages they are owed, they are not just ripping off workers, they are cheating taxpayers and the honest contractors who did not get the job,” Healey said in a press release.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation in July 2015 after the New England Regional Council of Carpenters complained that On-Time was not paying the prevailing wage rate to its workers on a project at the Acushnet Police Station. The subcontract for the project was awarded to On-Time by Nauset Construction Corp.
The investigation revealed that at various times between March and August 2015, On-Time failed to pay three workers the correct prevailing wage rate. One worker was not paid any wages until after the investigation commenced. On-Time also certified on a weekly basis to the awarding authority that its workers were paid the prevailing wage rate even though they were not.
Since the investigation began, On-Time has paid $78,987 in restitution to the employees.
Under the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law, contractors and subcontractors engaged in public construction projects must pay their employees a special minimum wage. The required wage rate is based on the occupational classification for the type of work the employees perform. Employers may take deductions from employees’ prevailing wages to pay for contributions to certain bona fide benefit plans, including retirement plans such as 401(k) plans.
The law also requires that contractors and subcontractors working on public construction projects to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis. These records must contain the employees’ identities, their hourly rates of pay, the job classifications of the work performed, and information about deductions taken from their pay.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws. Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at 617-727-3465.
More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website www.massworkrights.com.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Erik Bennett and Inspector Tom Lam, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division.