BOSTON – Almost $5 million in restitution and penalties were recovered for wage and labor violations in Massachusetts last year, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last week.
In 2011, the attorney general’s Fair Labor Division recovered roughly $4.5 million in restitution for nearly 4,400 workers and approximately $500,000 in penalties for the state, according to a news release. The Fair Labor Division enforces various laws that protect workers, including the prevailing wage, minimum wage, payment of wages, overtime, tip pooling, child labor, Sunday and holiday premium pay and the public construction bid laws. The division uses its powers to investigate and enforce violations of the law through criminal and civil-enforcement actions.
In addition to the prosecution of wage and hour violations, the Bid Unit in the Fair Labor Division also handled nearly 100 bid protests, some of which were brought by whistleblowers, in which citizens or public officials brought cases to the units with the hopes of bringing integrity to the bid procedures used in their community. •