For Immediate Release - October 23, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Cites Two Insulation Companies For Failing to Comply With the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has issued citations against one insulation company, and has reached a settlement agreement with a second insulation company as a result of violations of the Massachusetts wage and hour laws at two Taunton Public School projects. The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division has cited South Easton-based Proline Industries, Inc., and its owner, David Cheffro, age 46, of Brockton, for failure to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis and failure to pay employees in a timely manner. The citations require Proline Industries and Cheffro to pay a total of $9,000 in fines for the two violations.

The Attorney General's Office has also reached a settlement agreement with a Peabody insulation company, National Abatement, Inc., and its owner, Jimmy Net, age 40, of Saugus, to settle allegations that the company failed to comply with the Massachusetts prevailing wage laws. The agreement requires the company to pay a citation which includes nearly $3,000 in restitution to employees, a $1,500 fine to the Commonwealth and a one-year debarment period which prohibits the company from bidding on or contracting for any public works construction projects within the Commonwealth.

In March 2009, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division began an investigation into the payment practices of Proline Industries after receiving a complaint alleging that the company failed to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis while performing work at the Taunton High School and the John F. Parker Middle School in Taunton. A review of Proline Industries' records obtained from the awarding authority and the company revealed that Proline Industries failed to pay three employees in a timely manner in January and February 2009. Additionally, Proline Industries failed to submit true and accurate certified payroll records only a weekly basis to the proper awarding authorities, as required by the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Act. The citations require Cheffro and his company to pay $9,000 in fines to the Commonwealth for the violations.

During the course of the investigation into Proline Industries, the Attorney General's Office discovered that the company had sub-contracted a portion of the insulation work to National Abatement. The Attorney General's Office found that from January 2009 through April 2009, National Abatement had failed to pay prevailing wages for work performed at the Taunton High School and the John F. Parker Middle School in Taunton; failed to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis; and failed to submit true and accurate certified payroll records because it failed to list all of its employees performing work on the records. The settlement agreement requires Net and National Abatement to pay $1,500 in fines and nearly $3,000 in restitution to 14 employees to remedy the violations. Additionally, National Abatement agreed to enter into a one-year debarment period which prohibits the company from bidding on or contracting for any public works construction projects within the Commonwealth.

The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws, and the payment of wages laws in the Commonwealth. Workers who feel 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.

The cases were handled by Assistant Attorney General Miranda Jones and investigated by Investigator James Coughlin, both of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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