Wareham Company Cited for Allegedly Violating Labor Laws
BOSTON — A Wareham asphalt company and its owners are being cited for more than $1.2 million in restitution and penalties for allegedly not paying its employees prevailing wages, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey.
Healey alleged in a statement Wednesday that Rochester Bituminous Products, Inc. underpaid 22 workers on public projects by around $30 per hour.
The firm also allegedly failed to furnish accurate payroll records on various public projects for clients including the city of Boston, the town of Mattapoisett, and the Boston Water & Sewer Commission.
This isn't the first time Rochester Bituminous has found itself in hot water with Healey's office, after the firm's former accountant Christopher Polito was charged for submitting false financial records in November.
Now the company, along with its president Thomas Russo, manager Albert Todesca, and treasurer Michael P. Todesca, have been issued a total of 25 citations by the A.G.’s office.
Healey is seeking penalties from the Wareham firm for allegedly violating state labor laws and asking for restitution for the 22 employees it allegedly harmed.
In 2019, the office’s Fair Labor Division started investigating Rochester Bituminous after receiving several complaints from past and present workers alleging the firm had not paid them prevailing wages for work performed.
The division investigated whether the company was paying its workers fair wages for paving work in the city of Boston.
According to the A.G.'s office, Rochester Bituminous failed to provide investigators with payroll and timekeeping records — or provided incomplete records or those containing errors or omissions — multiple times.
Despite this, the office said investigators found that 22 workers were owed restitution after being underpaid by around $30 per hour for work performed.
“Companies have an obligation to pay their workers the wages they’ve earned,” said Healey.
“We are citing this company to secure relief for the workers who have been harmed.”
Representatives from Rochester Bituminous Products, Inc. declined to comment.