For Immediate Release - April 12, 2011

New Bedford Drywall Contractor and Company Debarred for 10-Years for Wage Violations

Company failed to comply with 2009 agreement for violations

BOSTON - A New Bedford drywall contractor and his company have been debarred from bidding on or contracting for work on public construction sites in Massachusetts for 10 years under an agreed-upon judgment obtained in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced. Pursuant to the judgment, Garcia Drywall, Inc. and its owner, Emanuel Garcia, are also required to pay $18,120 in fines for violating the state's wage and hour laws.

"All workers must be paid properly for their services. Not only did Garcia and his company violate the law, they failed to follow through with our agreement for addressing previous violations," AG Coakley said. "Businesses and business owners must recognize that adherence to the wage and hour law is a serious obligation that carries stern penalties for violations."

The Attorney General's Office entered into a settlement agreement with Garcia and Garcia Drywall in May 2009. Pursuant to the settlement, the Attorney General issued three intentional citations. In addition, Garcia and Garcia Drywall admitted that they intentionally violated the Prevailing Wage Law, the Overtime Law, and the Prevailing Wage Records Keeping Law and agreed to pay $6,090 in fines and over $18,000 in wages to twenty-six workers due to their failure to pay the prevailing wage for work done at four public construction sites in the Commonwealth. Garcia and Garcia Drywall also agreed to pay $9,030 in fines and over $23,000 in wages to 86 employees for failure to pay overtime and $3,000 in fines for failure to submit certified payroll records to the awarding authorities at the four public construction projects. As part of the 2009 agreement, Garcia and Garcia Drywall agreed to a one-year debarment. Upon execution of the 2009 settlement agreement, Garcia and Garcia Drywall made one $10,000 payment towards the almost $42,000 owed in restitution.

In July 2009, Garcia and his wife, Paula Garcia, an officer of Garcia Drywall, filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Additionally, Garcia Drywall filed for corporate bankruptcy. The Attorney General's Office filed a complaint in the personal bankruptcy proceeding objecting to the dischargeability of the approximate $18,000 in fines Garcia owed from the 2009 settlement agreement. In January 2011, Garcia Drywall, Garcia and his wife entered into a second agreement with the Attorney General's Office in which they agreed to repay the fines owed and enter into a 10 year debarment from bidding on or contracting for public construction work. On March 25, 2011, the Bankruptcy Court allowed an Agreement for Judgment that incorporated the 2011 settlement agreement.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Miranda Jones and investigated by Investigator James P. Coughlin, both of AG Coakley's Fair Labor Division.