Massachusetts is a busy place for construction contractors and others in the industry. Particularly when the economy is strong, there are lots of building projects, road improvements and other construction projects underway in this state.
Most employers in our state follow the appropriate wage and hour laws, but sometimes mistakes are made. According to the Massachusetts Attorney General, in 2018, 66 construction companies received citations for wage and hour violations. In total, the citations amounted to nearly $1.5 million paid in restitution and over $1.2 million paid in fines. These violations took place both in the private and public sector.
When a supplier, subcontractor or contractor enters into a construction contract in Massachusetts, they do so with the expectation that they will be paid for the goods or services they provide per the terms of their agreement. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, sometimes these parties are not paid in a timely manner. This can be very detrimental to their business. However, they may have legal remedies in such situations.
Not every work relationship in Massachusetts is an employee-employer relationship. Sometimes an employer chooses to work with independent contractors, rather than hire employees. Depending on the circumstances, working with an independent contractor can be less costly than hiring an employee, and independent contractors may have specialized knowledge and abilities that general employees of the business do not have.
Last year, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office cited 66 construction firms working in our state for wage theft violations, forcing these companies to pay fines and restitution reaching nearly $3 million. These companies did not pay their workers. While the construction boom continues in our state, the accusations of wage theft seem to run parallel with it.