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Shrewsbury Landscaping Company to Pay More than $31,000 to Resolve Overtime and Employee Misclassification Violations

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – A Westborough man and his landscaping company will pay more than $31,000 in restitution and penalties to resolve violations of the state’s wage and hour laws, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

“This business failed to pay its employees the appropriate wages they earned,” AG Healey said. “Our office will continue to work to address wage theft in all of its forms and make sure that all employees in Massachusetts are paid what they are owed.”

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation into Green Paradise Landscaping in Shrewsbury and owner Bruno M. Amaral, of Westborough, after a referral from the state’s Joint Council on the Underground Economy alleging wage and hour violations.

The AG’s Office determined that the company failed to pay the appropriate overtime rate to nine employees during multiple pay periods between April 2012 and December 2014, amounting to more than $24,000 in unpaid overtime wages. The state’s Overtime Law requires employers to pay qualifying employees time and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.

The AG’s Office also determined that the employer misclassified employees as independent contractors, failed to maintain true and accurate payroll records, and failed to issue suitable paystubs as required by law.

Under the terms of a settlement agreement, Amaral admits to unintentional violations, and will pay more than $31,000 in restitution and penalties.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws. Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the AG’s Workplace Rights website: www.massworkrights.com.

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Drew Cahill, and was investigated by Investigator Leah Lucier, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division.

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