For Immediate Release - May 23, 2011

Lynn Trucking Company Ordered to Pay More Than $290,000 in Restitution and Penalties for Labor Violations

BOSTON - A Lynn trucking company and its owner have been ordered to pay more than $290,000 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay the prevailing wage, failing to provide pay stubs and record keeping violations, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

"Any employer that does business with the state must abide by all of our laws, which includes properly paying workers on all public construction projects," AG Coakley said. "These laws are designed to protect workers and also level the playing field for all businesses across the Commonwealth."

Hope Trucking and Demo, Inc. (Hope Trucking), was cited for owing more than $140,000 in wages to 20 employees who performed work at three public construction sites in the state. This trucking and demolition company is owned by Frank A. Hope, III (Hope), age 50, of Lynn. Additionally, the Attorney General's Office fined Hope and his company $70,000 for willful failure to pay the prevailing wage; $30,000 for willful failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authorities at the three public construction sites; $25,000 for willful failure to provide pay stubs to their employees; and $25,000 for willful failure to keep true and accurate general payroll records. In total, the Attorney General's Office fined Hope Trucking and Hope $150,000 in civil penalties.

In February 2011, the AG's Fair Labor Division received an anonymous complaint alleging that Hope and Hope Trucking failed to pay the correct prevailing wage rate for work performed at the Runkle School project in Brookline. Investigators conducted a site inspection and discovered that Hope was paying several laborers between $14- $22 per hour, in cash, but was not providing pay stubs. Investigators reviewed the certified payroll records that Hope and Hope Trucking had submitted to the awarding authority and determined that they had reported paying the employees $49.35 per hour, the correct prevailing wage rate.

The Attorney General's Office sent Hope and Hope Trucking a demand for both their general and certified payroll records for all of 2010 through part of February 2011. Neither submitted any payroll records demonstrating how much they paid their employees at the Runkle School project. Hope and Hope Trucking did submit certified payroll records for public construction work performed at the Needham Town Hall's Renovations and Additions project and the Amesbury Elm Street Main Replacement project. According to those records, Hope and his company certified to the awarding authorities that they paid the correct prevailing wage rates. They did not, however, provide to the AG's office records showing any payment of wages to their employees. A subsequent audit by the Attorney General's Office revealed that Hope and Hope Trucking owed a total of $140,603.70 in unpaid wages to twenty employees.

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 Investigators Nuno R. Fontes Montrond and Dan Cullinane, of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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