For Immediate Release - November 06, 2009

Dorchester Asbestos Removal Company Agrees to Pay Over $142,000 in Restitution and Penalties for Wage, Overtime and Record Keeping Violations

Company also agrees to two-year debarment

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has reached a settlement agreement with a Dorchester asbestos abatement company for intentionally failing to pay the prevailing wage and for intentionally failing to pay overtime at various public construction sites in Massachusetts. Neal Cass, age 59 , of Dorchester, and his company, Nealco Environmental Services, Inc. (Nealco), have agreed to pay $12,000 in fines and a total of over $122,200 in restitution to employees for the violations. In addition, Cass and Nealco have agreed to pay $6,000 in fines for the intentional failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to local awarding authorities at three public construction projects and $2,000 in fines for failure to submit certified payroll records on a weekly basis. Cass and his company have also agreed to refrain from bidding on, or contracting for, public construction work in the Commonwealth for a period of two years.

In August 2008, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division received a complaint alleging that Cass and Nealco had failed to pay the prevailing wage for asbestos removal work at various public construction projects throughout the Commonwealth. The Attorney General's Office began an investigation and determined that Cass and his company had failed to pay appropriate wages under the law, including:

  • From October 2007 to February 2008, Cass and Nealco failed to pay 31 employees the prevailing wage at the Taunton Riverside Apartments complex, a public works project in Taunton. Cass and Nealco have agreed to pay nearly $40,800 in restitution to the affected employees who worked on that project. From February 2007 to July 2007, Cass and Nealco failed to pay 23 employees the prevailing wage at the Buena Vista Housing project (Buena Vista) in Devens, a public works project. Cass and Nealco agreed to pay over $30,800 in restitution for that project. Cass and Nealco also agreed to pay seven of the employees at the Buena Vista project over $10,000 in unpaid overtime.
  • From December 2007 to June 2008, Cass and Nealco failed to pay 17 employees the prevailing wage at the Rainbow Apartments project, a public works project in Salem. Cass and Nealco agreed to pay over $37,500 in restitution for that project.

Although employees were not paid the prevailing wage rate on these three projects, the certified payroll records that Cass and Nealco submitted to the awarding authorities stated that the employees were paid the prevailing wage.

Cass and Nealco also failed to pay the prevailing wage rate from September 2006 to May 2008 at dozens of additional public works job sites, located in Billerica, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy, Weymouth, East Falmouth, Lynn, Lexington, Falmouth, Saugus, Fall River, and Boston. Cass and Nealco agreed to pay over $2,700 in restitution for those projects. Cass and Nealco did not submit certified payroll records for any of these projects.

The Prevailing Wage Laws apply to all construction work performed on public works projects in Massachusetts. The Prevailing Wage Laws allow all contractors bidding on public works projects to enjoy a "level playing field" by standardizing the rate of pay the workers will earn. A company's failure to pay its employees the prevailing wage for work performed at a public construction site can result in both civil and criminal penalties against the company and its owner.

The Attorney General's Office is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages laws, overtime and misclassification of employees in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe they have been misclassified or that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General's Workplace Rights website: www.massworkrights.com.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Miranda Jones of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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