A temporary employment agency with more than 2,000 temp workers in Massachusetts will pay $221,180 in restitution and penalties to resolve allegations that it violated the state’s wage and hour laws, Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Oct. 15.
Premier Employee Solutions LLC, with its Massachusetts headquarters in Chelsea, has been cited for failing to pay employees wages in a timely manner, records violations, failing to comply with the Earned Sick Time law, and failing to comply with the Temporary Worker Right to Know Law, which requires temp agencies to provide employees with written notice outlining basic job assignment information, including rate of pay, nature and description of the work assignment and workers’ compensation insurance carrier information.
The AG’s Office began investigating the staffing agency after receiving a tip that some Premier workers were not being paid in accordance with the state wage and hour laws. Investigators conducted a site visit, issued records demands, and discovered evidence of non-timely payment of wages, earned sick time, Temporary Worker Right to Know Law, and records violations.
AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time laws. Under Massachusetts law, employers must provide to employees either an earned sick time notice as prepared by the AG’s office or include an earned sick time policy or allowable substitute paid leave policy in any employee manual or handbook. The state’s wage and hour laws generally require employers to pay workers all wages they are owed within six days of the end of the pay period.
The AG’s Office recently released its fifth annual Labor Day Report on the Fair Labor Division’s efforts to address wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation in fiscal year 2020. The report shows that the Division assessed more than $12.3 million in restitution and penalties against employers on behalf of workers in Massachusetts. The report also shows that the Fair Labor Division protected the rights of more than 3,000 workers employed by temporary staffing agencies in fiscal year 2020, assessing nearly $680,000 in restitution and penalties against 25 agencies for violations of the Temporary Workers Right to Know Law, independent contractor misclassification law, and other wage and hour laws.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Drew Cahill and Investigator Huong Phan of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.