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Press Release AG’s Office Cites Chicopee Construction Company and its President for Prevailing Wage Violations

For immediate release:
12/17/2019
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
  • The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division

Media Contact for AG’s Office Cites Chicopee Construction Company and its President for Prevailing Wage Violations

Meggie Quackenbush

BostonA Chicopee construction company and its president have been cited nearly $1 million in restitution and penalties for violating the state’s prevailing wage law for work performed on public projects, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Pilgrim Interiors Inc. and its president Richard Bernard Jr. received three citations from the AG’s Office for failing to pay the prevailing wage and failing to submit true and accurate payroll records.

The AG’s Office began an investigation into possible nonpayment of the prevailing wage by Pilgrim Interiors while the company worked on public construction projects. The investigation showed that the company had been misclassifying its carpenters as “laborers” on dozens of public projects between December 2016 and May 2019 and paid them a lower hourly rate. Depending on the project, the difference in hourly prevailing wage between a laborer and a carpenter was between $6.19 and $15.18, and the investigation found that 59 Pilgrim carpenters were underpaid by $369,628 during this time period.

Pilgrim also violated the prevailing wage law by taking credit against the prevailing wage hourly rate for fringe benefit contributions that were never made.

The AG’s Office has prioritized combatting wage theft in the construction industry. In fiscal year 2019, the Office’s Fair Labor Division issued citations against 209 construction employers and assessed nearly $3.1 million in restitution and penalties.

The AG’s Office enforces laws that regulate the payment of wages, including the prevailing wage laws, special minimum wage laws that apply to certain public construction projects and public works to ensure quality workmanship and fairness in the awarding of public contracts.

Workers who believe their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the AG’s workplace rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Erik Bennett and Investigator Tom Lam of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.

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Media Contact for AG’s Office Cites Chicopee Construction Company and its President for Prevailing Wage Violations

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division 

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division protects workers from exploitation and sets a level playing field for employers. We enforce wage and hour, public construction, and child labor laws.
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