Kirby Vacuum Distributors Fined Nearly $200,000 for Wage and Hour Violations
The 12 distributors have been cited for a variety of different wage and hour violations including nonpayment of wage, nonpayment of minimum wage, misclassification, child labor, retaliation and record-keeping violations. The distributors have been fined a total of $199,300 for the violations and also ordered to pay restitution.
"We have cited these companies for the denial of wages to these workers and their intentional failure to provide payroll records to our office," AG Coakley said. "Our office will continue to pursue businesses that fail to pay their employees properly to both ensure that all workers receive the proper compensation for their hard work and to ensure all businesses play by the same set of rules in the marketplace."
After receiving complaints from Kirby door-to-door salespeople and telemarketers, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division opened an investigation into the payment practices of all Massachusetts Kirby distributors. Investigators discovered that 34 sales people or telemarketers were not properly paid under the state's wage and hour laws. Investigators also discovered that the workers were misclassified and that many also did not receive paystubs.
The Kirby Distributors that have been cited are:
- Alynn Industries, of Hudson, MA;
- Douglas Marketing Company, of North Attleborough, MA, and owner Douglas A. Cochrane, Jr. of Bellingham, MA;
- DRH Enterprises, Inc. DBA Kirby of Woburn, of Woburn, MA, and owner David Howard of Windham, NH;
- J. Hood & Associates, Inc. DBA Kirby of Leominster, of Tyngsborough, MA, and owner Jamie Hood of Hinsdale, NH;
- Lilly & Company, of Beverly, MA, and owner Jennifer Lilly;
- Northeast Elite Distributors, of Holyoke, MA;
- Platinum Circle Distribution, Inc., of West Springfield, MA, and owner Derek Duquette;
- Saunders Distribution DBA Kirby of Western Massachusetts, Kirby of Springfield, Ultimate Outlets and Platinum Outlet, all of Westfield, MA, and owners Cynthia and David Saunders of Chicopee, MA
- South Shore Consulting Corp., of Rockland, MA, and owner Nicholas M. Bilotta of Norfolk, VA;
- Spence Industries DBA Kirby of Middlesex County, of Tyngsborough, MA, and owner Nicholas Spencer;
- TLS Distributors DBA Kirby of Chicopee, of Chicopee, MA and owner Todd Russo of Ware, MA;
- Victory Distribution DBA Kirby of Worcester, of Worcester, MA, and owner Ronald Lynch of Plainfield, CT.
The Attorney General's Office cited Platinum Circle Distribution, Inc. of West Springfield and its owner, Derek Duquette, for retaliation for withholding pay after an employee contacted the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's Office also cited two distributors - Saunders Distribution and DRH Enterprises, Inc. - for employment of a minor without a working permit.
The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing 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 matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Kate J. Fitzpatrick and
Investigators Leah Lucier and Brian Davies, all of AG Coakley's Fair Labor Division.