For Immediate Release - January 21, 2010

Somerville Trash Companies Agree to Pay $90,000 to Resolve Allegations of Violating the Massachusetts Wage Laws

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has reached an agreement with five Somerville waste disposal companies, collectively known as Russell, and its corporate officers, Charles ("Chuck") D. Carneglia, age 49, of Woburn, Kevin M. Douglas, age 54, of Reading, and Brian Langton, age 56, of Reading. Russell Disposal Inc., F.W. Russell & Sons Disposal, Inc., RDI Belmont, Inc., Langton & Douglas Contracting, Inc., F.W. Russell & Sons & Granddaughter, Inc., (aka Russell) and its three corporate officers have agreed to pay $70,000 to 352 current and former employees as well as a $20,000 penalty to the Commonwealth to resolve allegations that the company violated the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws. In addition, Russell has agreed to a two-year monitoring and compliance plan.

In January 2008, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division began an investigation into Russell's payment practices after receiving complaints that Russell was improperly paying its drivers and laborers while engaged in trash collection for several Massachusetts municipalities, including Belmont, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell, Methuen, Somerville, Wakefield, Walpole and Wilmington. The Attorney General's Office determined that Russell failed to pay drivers when they worked more than 40 hours a week. Investigators also identified significant record-keeping violations, including failing to report accurate working hours in company books and on employees' paystubs. As a result, Russell has been cited by the Attorney General's Office for three intentional and one unintentional violation of the Commonwealth's wage and hour laws.

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.

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Kate J. Fitzpatrick and Teresa Flanagan Lamarre, Investigator Leah Turney and Inspector Paul Gordon, all of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.