AG Coakley Announces Appointments to Fair Labor Division
Matthew Berge appointed as Fair Labor Division Chief; Jocelyn Jones to serve as Deputy Division Chief and Special Counsel for Fair Labor Policy
BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley is pleased to announce new appointments to lead her Fair Labor Division, both of whom bring years of skill and experience in public service to their roles.
In two recent staffing changes at the AG’s Office, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Berge has been appointed as the Fair Labor Division Chief. Deputy Division Chief Jocelyn Jones will continue in her role as Deputy Division Chief with the additional appointment as Special Counsel for Fair Labor Policy. Together, Berge and Jones will oversee the Division’s enforcement of Massachusetts laws that protect workers, including the prevailing wage, minimum wage, payment of wages, overtime, misclassification, tip pooling, child labor, Sunday and holiday premium pay laws, as well as the public construction bid laws.
Berge has been an Assistant Attorney General with the office for 15 years, assigned most recently as a prosecutor in the Criminal Bureau’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division. Prior to that, he was assigned to the Government Bureau’s Trial Division. In 2009, he was made senior litigation counsel in the Government Bureau for tobacco litigation and, in that role, prosecuted Massachusetts’s claims and assumed a leadership role on behalf of 47 states in a nationwide arbitration of the states’ claims against Big Tobacco under the landmark 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. He served as Director of the Attorney General’s Abandoned Housing Initiative, a program that assists cities, towns and community partners address blight created by abandoned and foreclosed properties through health and safety code enforcement. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Berge practiced law in Newark, New Jersey, concentrating in commercial litigation and employment matters. Berge, a Dorchester resident, is a graduate of Fordham Law School.
“Matthew’s creativity and dedication have been integral in the success of a range of initiatives in our office, and he is the perfect choice to lead the Fair Labor Division,” AG Coakley said. “I am confident his integrity and expertise will be invaluable.”
Deputy Division Chief Jocelyn Jones will continue to be a critical member of the Fair Labor leadership team, now serving as Deputy Division Chief and Special Counsel for Fair Labor Policy. Appointed Deputy Chief in 2007, Jones has managed division policy and outreach, directed the public construction bidding unit and child labor enforcement program, and assisted in overseeing wage and hour enforcement and litigation. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Division Chief, Jones served for nearly seven years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Fair Labor Division focusing on prevailing wage, overtime, vacation, minimum wage and public construction bidding matters. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Jones was a staff attorney and an investigatory hearing officer at the former Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (now Division of Labor Relations) and an attorney at the labor law firm Sandulli, Grace, P.C. Jones, a Northampton resident, is a graduate of Colby College, the Program for Women in Politics and Government at Boston College Graduate School, and Northeastern University School of Law.
“Jocelyn has been a critical member of the Fair Labor Division for many years,” AG Coakley said. “Her experience and insight have been an essential part of the office and she will provide outstanding leadership in her new role.”
As Special Counsel for Fair Labor Policy, Jones will continue in a key role she has long played in charting a course on policy matters for the office and working closely with Fair Labor stakeholders, while continuing her duties as Deputy Chief of the Fair Labor Division.
The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division consists of lawyers, investigators, and staff, and it enforces various laws that protect workers, including the prevailing wage, minimum wage, payment of wages, overtime, tip pooling, child labor, Sunday and holiday premium pay, and the public construction bid laws. The Division has broad powers to investigate and enforce violations of these laws through criminal and civil enforcement actions. The Division uses this authority to protect employees from exploitation by an employer, prosecute employers who are failing to follow the Commonwealth’s wage and hour laws, and set a level playing field with clear rules that the Commonwealth’s employers can follow, ensuring that strong economic growth and fairness for workers go hand-in-hand.