For Immediate Release - February 24, 2010

Pennsylvania Company Agrees to Pay $160,000 in Restitution and Penalties for Violating Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Laws

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has reached an agreement with a Pennsylvania based engineering and utility infrastructure contractor to settle allegations they failed to pay 54 employees the proper state prevailing wage. Henkels & McCoy, Inc., of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $145,000 in restitution as well as $15,000 in penalties to the Commonwealth as a result of the violations.

In July 2006, the Attorney General's Office received information that Henkels & McCoy was improperly classifying some of their workers on the MBTA's Greenbush Commuter Line Construction project, a public works project in Massachusetts. Investigators from the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division reviewed the company's certified payroll records and discovered that the company had failed to pay 28 employees the correct state prevailing wage rate for the work performed. During the course of the investigation, investigators received information that Henkels & McCoy was also improperly classifying some of their workers on the I-91 Intelligent Transportation System public works project. A review of the company records revealed that Henkels & McCoy failed to pay the proper state prevailing wage rate to 31 employees on that project. Henkels & McCoy has fully cooperated with the Attorney General's investigation.

The Prevailing Wage and Records 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 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 matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Bruce Trager and investigated by Investigator James P. Coughlin with assistance from Investigator Nuno R. F. Montrond, all of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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