For Immediate Release - April 20, 2010

Ludlow Asbestos Removal Company Ordered to Pay Over $27,000 for Not Properly Paying Employees

BOSTON - A Ludlow asbestos, lead and mold abatement company removal company has been ordered to pay over $27,000 in fines and restitution for intentionally not paying their employees properly. Safe Environment of America, Inc. (Safe Environment), and its President, Todd M. Scyocurka, age 49, of Ludlow, have been cited by Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office for violating the state's prevailing wage, payroll records keeping and wage laws. The violations are related to lead abatement work performed from June 2007 through April 2008 at the Fall River Housing Authority Pleasant View Building Modernization public works project.

"Particularly in today's economy, it is critical that employees are properly compensated for the hours that they work," said Attorney General Coakley. "Our office is committed to enforcing the state's wage and hour laws, both to safeguard the rights of hardworking men and women, and to ensure a level playing field for businesses who do play by the rules."

In July 2009, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division received a wage complaint from a former employee of Safe Environment, alleging that he had not been paid for work performed for the company. Investigators from the Attorney General's Office cited Safe Environment and Scyocurka after they discovered that the company intentionally failed to pay the prevailing wage to six employees. The citation orders Safe Environment and Scyocurka to pay $1,481.39 in restitution to those six employees and a $2,000 fine to the Commonwealth. Scyocurka and his company were also cited for failing to pay an employee wages in a timely manner from November 2007 through April 2008, and were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,637.50 and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, Safe Environment and Scyocurka were cited $5,000 for intentionally failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority; $7,500 for failing to furnish payroll records to the Attorney General's Office for inspection and $5,000 for intentionally failing to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis.

The Prevailing Wage and Record Keeping 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. The Payroll Record Keeping Law allows state agencies to monitor the spending of taxpayer monies on public construction projects. A company's failure to pay its employees the state prevailing wage for work performed at a public construction site or to abide by the record keeping requirements can result in both civil and criminal penalties against the company and its owner. Workers who believe they may not been paid the appropriate wages are encouraged 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 investigated by Inspector Joseph Drzyzga and handled by Assistant Attorney General Bruce Trager, both of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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