For Immediate Release - October 08, 2009

Lowell Asbestos Removal Company to Pay Over $135,000 to Settle Allegations It Violated the State's Prevailing Wage Laws

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has reached a settlement agreement with Lowell-based asbestos removal company, SRS Contractors, Inc. (SRS Contractors) and its owners, Sina Min, age 29, and Sambath Yim, age 44, both of Lowell, to settle claims that the company failed to pay employees the prevailing wage rate and failed to properly keep and submit payroll records as required by state law. SRS Contractors has paid $115,760 in restitution to the affected employees, and will pay a total of $20,000 in fines to the Commonwealth to resolve the allegations.

In March 2009, the Attorney General's Office received complaints from employees of SRS Contractors alleging they had not been paid the prevailing wage for asbestos removal work performed at the Beverly High School Project. Investigators from the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division discovered that from February 2009 through May 2009, Min, Yim and SRS Contractors had failed to pay the prevailing wage to 20 employees. SRS Contractors and its owners also failed to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority on the project from February 2009 to May 2009, and failed to keep true and accurate payroll records from January 2008 through April 2009, as required by law. As a result of failing to pay the prevailing wage to employees, the company has paid $115,760 in restitution to the affected workers and a $7,500 fine to the Commonwealth. The company was also cited $7,500 for failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority, and the company was also cited $5,000 for failing to keep true and accurate payroll records.

The Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Laws apply to certain types of public work construction projects and public service contracts in the state. The Prevailing Wage Law creates a "level playing field" for contractors and subcontractors engaged in public works by standardizing the rate of pay the workers must receive. A company's failure to pay prevailing wages can result in both civil and criminal penalties against the company and its owners.

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 not been paid all their wages, including earned vacation pay 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 matter was settled by Assistant Attorney General Miranda Jones and investigated by Inspector Nuno Fontes Montrond, both of the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.

##########