Cambridge-based Insulation Company Cited More than $100,000 for Failing to Pay Proper Prevailing Wage
Citation Includes Restitution to Employees and Penalties
BOSTON – A Cambridge-based insulation company and its president have been cited more than $100,000 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay the proper prevailing wage to employees, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Boston Insulation Corporation and its president, Antonio J. Souza, Jr., were cited $111,177 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay the proper prevailing wage, failing to submit true and accurate certified payroll records and failing to keep true and accurate general payroll records.
“Our state prevailing wage laws create a level playing field for contractors and ensure that workers are paid properly,” said AG Healey. “Companies cannot cheat their employees out of their hard-earned wages in order to gain an unfair advantage against competitors.”
The AG’s Office began an investigation in February 2016 after the matter was referred to the AG’s Fair Labor Division by the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local # 17.
The investigation revealed that between June 2015 and January 2016, Boston Insulation performed work on nine public works projects throughout Massachusetts for which it did not pay 13 employees the proper prevailing wage. It also revealed that the company classified several employees as apprentices who were not registered with the Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards. Due to their unregistered status, those employees should have been classified and paid at a higher prevailing wage rate.
The public projects included work for the following:
- Hanson Library
- Fall River Housing
- Hopedale Housing
- Natick Housing
- Town of Sandisfield
- Newburyport Housing
- Reading Housing
- Waltham Housing
- Millbury Housing
Also, a review by the AG’s Office of Boston Insulation’s payroll records revealed the company did not keep daily or weekly time records and that its payroll records and certified payroll records did not always match.
Under the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law, contractors and subcontractors engaged in public construction projects must pay their employees a special minimum wage, which is based on the occupational classification for the type of work the employees perform.
In order for a contractor to classify and pay an employee as an apprentice, the employee and the company must both be registered with the Division of Apprentice Standards. Employees who are not registered or who are working for a company without a registered program with the Division of Apprentice Standards must be paid at a higher prevailing wage rate.
AG Healey is committed to protecting the economic security of Massachusetts residents, particularly vulnerable workers. The AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws.
AG Healey has prioritized addressing wage theft in the construction industry. Since the beginning of 2016, the AG’s Fair Labor Division has issued 131 citations against 67 employers in the construction industry, for a total of more than $1.2 million in restitution and penalties.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General’s new Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Barbara DeSouza and was investigated by Inspector Brian Davies, both of Attorney General Healey’s Fair Labor Division in the Western Massachusetts Regional Office.