October 14 2020

Burlington Construction Firm Fined $398,913 Over Wage Violations


A Burlington construction company is one of three such entities to be facing fines by the state for underpaying workers. 


Attorney General Maura Healey’s Fair Labor Division announced citations totaling $636,796 in penalties and restitution for 23 workers against three construction companies for prevailing wage and records violations in connection with a public construction project in Sutton. One of the companies was Burlington-based Machados Construction Services LLC and its manager Leandro Machado who were fined $398,913 for five different citations. 


The AG also issued two citations totaling $217,738 against Real Construction Inc. and its President Elismar J. Custodio, and five citations totaling $20,145 against WF North Lion Inc. and Wirley M. De Freitas.


“Companies that try to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors by not paying workers will be held accountable,” said AG Healey. “Prevailing wage laws are in place to ensure there is a level playing field for those who work on our public projects.”


According to the release, the AG’s Office began investigating the companies after receiving a referral from the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters alleging that construction workers on the Sutton Police Station project were not being paid the prevailing wage. According to the referral, workers on the project were paid only $15 to $20 per hour for carpentry work, far less than the state-mandated prevailing wage rate of $68.72 per hour. AG investigators issued payroll demands to Machados, Real Construction, WF that showed employees at each of the companies were regularly underpaid for work performed on the Sutton project. The AG’s investigators also discovered that Machados had failed to pay employees the prevailing wage on another public construction project awarded by the Malden Housing Authority.


The AG’s Office enforces laws that regulate the payment of wages, including prevailing wage laws that apply to certain public construction projects and public works to ensure quality workmanship and fairness in the awarding of public contracts. The law imposes a special minimum wage and requires contractors and subcontractors working on public works construction projects to submit weekly true and accurate certified payroll records to the authority that awards the contractors the public construction projects.


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