A Press Release from Gov. Dannel Malloy
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards recovered more than $6.5 million in unpaid wages for Connecticut workers during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
“Working men and women should receive the wages they rightfully earned, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are paid for the jobs they do,” Governor Malloy said. “The $6.5 million collected by the Labor Department’s investigators reflects the importance we place on protecting our state’s workforce, as well as law-abiding employers. Putting a stop to bad business practices, including the failure to pay fair wages, helps our workers as well as the entire state economy.”
According to Connecticut Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, the $6,544,707 returned to workers also included nearly $900,000 for employees that did not receive minimum wage or overtime, and another $1.9 million owed to workers that were not paid the correct amount while working at public contract construction sites. Additionally, approximately $35,000 was recovered for 34 service workers hired by private contractors who were not paid the correct wages.
“With Labor Day approaching, it is especially important to recognize the hard work accomplished by the men and women of our state and ensure they receive the wages they have earned,” Commissioner Palmer said. “We have a responsibility to protect the workers of Connecticut and ensure that they are paid fairly. Whether the issue is unpaid overtime or the failure to pay the proper wage, our agency is ready to help resolve the problem.”
The Connecticut Labor Department’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division also investigated 388 cases involving labor law violations, with inspectors citing employers in the following areas: personnel file violations, permitting night work of minors in manufacturing and mechanical businesses, the improper work hours of minors, hazardous employment of minors, and minors working in prohibited jobs, among other violations.
The following wages were recovered in fiscal year 2012-2013 by the agency’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division:
$3,660,496.47 to 1,442 employees
Public Contract Compliance:
$1,959,866.81 to 544 employees
Wage and Hour:
$899,689.97 to 1,701 employees
Service Contract Compliance:
$34,654.58 for 34 employees
Total wages recovered:
In fiscal year 2012, the agency returned $5.5 million to workers, while in 2011, the amount recovered amounted to $6 million.
In addition, a total of 181 Stop Work Orders were issued to employers who did not comply with Worker’s Compensation requirements. Following on-site investigations, these companies were required to cease work on a construction project until certain required workplace regulations were met. In some cases, it was determined that employers misrepresented employees as independent contractors – a practice that causes an economic disadvantage to other companies.
According to Gary K. Pechie, Director of the agency’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards, the wages were recovered in accordance with General Statutes Title 31, Chapter 557, Part III, and Chapter 558. He also noted that the agency’s website, www.ct.gov/dol (located under “Wage and Workplace Standards”) offers an extensive amount of information geared toward educating employers and worker about their rights and responsibilities in regard to state and federal wage laws.