Quincy Fire Sprinkler Company Ordered to Pay More Than $96,000 in Restitution and Fines for Prevailing Wage and Records Violations
BOSTON – A Quincy fire sprinkler company and its owner have been cited more than $96,000 for failing to pay employees the prevailing wage and failing to furnish records for inspection, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
“Our office works to achieve a level playing field for all businesses, contractors, and workers operating in the Commonwealth to ensure that all workers are paid what they are rightfully owed under the law,” AG Coakley said.
The AG’s Office ordered Boston Fire Protection, Inc., and its owner, Chris Cunningham, to pay more than $81,000 in restitution and $15,000 in penalties. The violations relate to work performed between 2010 and 2012 on public construction projects at the Curtis Hall Community Center and Excel Academy in Boston, the Conway Park Rink in Somerville, and Chelmsford Town Hall.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation in March 2013 after the matter was referred by Sprinkler Fitters Local 550. The investigation revealed that the company had paid eight employees less than the applicable prevailing wage, in some cases paying a lower apprentice rate to workers who were not registered as apprentices with the Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS). In addition, the company failed to provide a copy of payroll records requested during the course of the investigation.
The Massachusetts prevailing wage laws require that employees on public works projects, except those who perform strictly supervisory functions, be paid a minimum hourly rate set by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Labor Standards. Apprentices can be used and paid at an apprentice rate if the contractor is participating in an apprenticeship program approved by DAS and if the apprentices are registered with DAS.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the prevailing wage laws in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe they may not have been paid the appropriate wages are encouraged 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.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Barbara Dillon DeSouza and was investigated by Inspector Brian Davies, both of AG Coakley’s Fair Labor Division in the Western Massachusetts Regional Office.