For Immediate Release - July 18, 2012

General Contractor Pays More Than $31,000 to Workers Employed by Subcontractor on Marriott Copley Renovations

Workers Allegedly Paid Less Than State’s Minimum Wage

BOSTON – A Woburn general contractor will pay more than $31,000 to workers formerly employed by a subcontractor who were paid less than the state’s minimum wage, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

“Employers are required to pay employees a fair wage for a day’s work,” said AG Coakley.  “We enforce these laws not only to protect workers, but to level the playing field for all businesses who play by the rules.”

Baystate Services fully cooperated with the AG’s investigation and voluntarily agreed to provide additional compensation for these workers.

Baystate Services contracted with Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc. to renovate rooms at Boston’s Marriott Copley Place hotel.  Baystate then entered into a subcontract with a California corporation, Installations Plus, which in turn subcontracted work to a Philadelphia-based church, Victory Outreach.  The workers employed by Victory Outreach to move hotel furniture during the renovation project were paid less than the state’s basic minimum wage of $8 an hour.

Victory Outreach claimed that it received no compensation for arranging for employment for its members and that it has insufficient assets to pay the workers the difference between what they received and $8 an hour.  Installations Plus maintained that it did not employ the furniture movers and was not responsible for their wages. 

After learning that workers were being paid less than $8 an hour, Baystate Services voluntarily agreed to pay the difference between what the workers had been paid and $8 an hour.  Due to Baystate’s contribution, each worker will receive between $100 and $2,332, depending on the number of hours each person worked on the job. 

In total, Baystate voluntarily has paid $31,056 for 37 workers.  In addition, Baystate will more closely monitor the wage and hour compliance of its subcontractors, in order to ensure that in the future all workers on its projects are paid at least the basic minimum wage in the Commonwealth.

This matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.  The Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification (JTF) has an ongoing investigation in this matter.  This resolution does not preclude the AG’s Office from taking further action in the future.

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. 

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Bruce Trager and was investigated by State Police assigned to the Office of the Attorney General as well as Fair Labor Division Inspector Edward Minchello. 

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