For Immediate Release - July 12, 2017

New Hampshire-Based Construction Company Cited More Than $160,000 for Failing to Pay Workers on Public Projects

Company Did Not Pay Workers Prevailing Wage, Overtime

BOSTON – A New Hampshire-based construction company has been cited more than $160,000 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay employees the proper prevailing wage and overtime for nine public works projects completed between 2014 and 2015, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. 

The AG’s Office issued three citations against Northeast Partition Specialties, Inc. and owner Fredrick Breth for their Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage, Failure to Pay Overtime, and Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records.

“Companies that do business in Massachusetts must play by the rules,” said AG Healey. “Prevailing wage laws are intended to ensure a level playing field for companies and provide a real, living wage to workers.”

Northeast Partition Specialties, Inc. (Northeast) was a small, privately-held corporation located in Manchester, N.H. The AG’s Office began an investigation into Northeast after the AG’s Fair Labor Division received a complaint from a former employee alleging that he was not paid the prescribed prevailing wage rate for two public works projects between April 2015 and September 2015. 

The AG’s investigation revealed that between 2014 and 2015, Northeast failed to pay the proper prevailing wage rate to 27 employees for the following public works projects:

  • SSGT James J. Hill School, Revere
  • Bresnahan Elementary School, Newburyport
  • Acushnet Police Facility
  • Chelmsford Fire Department
  • Dracut Town Hall
  • Sudbury Police Department
  • Park Avenue Elementary, Webster
  • West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School
  • Westborough Fire Department

Since the investigation began, Northeast has paid $115,403.97 in restitution to employees and fully cooperated with the AG’s office. 

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.

As a result of not paying the proper prevailing wage rate, Northeast also failed to pay its employees the correct overtime rate. The state’s overtime law requires employers to pay qualifying employees time and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. Northeast paid its employees time and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week, but when employees worked on public construction, they were paid at the wrong overtime rate.

AG Healey is committed to protecting the economic security of Massachusetts residents, particularly vulnerable workers. 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.

In fiscal year 2017, the Fair Labor Division has issued 84 citations against employers in prevailing wage cases, and ordered payment of more than $1.3 million in restitution and $750,000 in penalties. During this time period, the Fair Labor Division has fielded nearly 17,000 calls from members of the public and received more than 5,600 wage theft complaints.

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace can 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 www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Erik Bennett and Investigator Tom Lam, both of Attorney General Healey’s Fair Labor Division.

####