For Immediate Release - March 23, 2011

Fitchburg Construction Companies Required to Pay Over $290,000 for Not Properly Paying Employees

Companies Also Failed to Properly Keep Payroll Records

BOSTON - Two Fitchburg construction companies and their owners are required to pay over $290,000 in restitution and penalties for non-payment of wages, failure to pay the prevailing wage, and record keeping violations, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

"The owners of these companies failed to properly pay their employees on thirty public construction projects," AG Coakley said. "At a time when many workers and families are struggling to make ends meet, employers should not deny their employees any of their hard earned wages."

G.R. Construction Corporation, a construction company owned by Richard Rama, age 33, of Fitchburg, and his wife Gabriella Rama, age 47, was cited more than $254,000. Another construction company owned by Richard Rama, Rama Construction Corporation, was cited more than $36,000.

The AG's Fair Labor Division received a complaint alleging that G.R. Construction and Rama Construction failed to pay wages, overtime and the prevailing wage to 21 employees on 30 public works construction projects in Massachusetts. Investigators determined that G.R. Construction and the Ramas failed to pay wages, failed to pay the prevailing wage, failed to maintain true and accurate payroll records, and failed to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority for the construction projects. Investigators also discovered that they intentionally failed to pay overtime to employees and intentionally failed to submit certified payroll records and general payroll records to the Attorney General's Office for inspection. As a result of the investigation, the Attorney General's Office cited G.R. Construction and Ramas $181,541.63 in restitution and a penalty of $72,500.

Investigators from the AG's Office also determined that Rama Construction and Richard Rama failed to: pay wages and the prevailing wage; intentionally failed to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authority; and intentionally failed to submit certified payroll records and general payroll records to the Attorney General's Office for inspection. Rama Construction and Richard Rama were cited $7,394 in restitution for not properly paying four employees and a penalty of $29,250.

The Attorney General's Office is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, 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 case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Miranda Jones and investigated by Investigator Nuno R. Fontes Montrond, both of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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