P & B Partitions to Pay $158K In Back Wages & Damages to 50 Employees on City Square Project

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
GoLocalWorcester News Team

P & B Partitions Inc. and its owner Ronald Biglin Jr. have been ordered to pay $158,139 in back wages and liquidated damages to 50 employees in order to resolve willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The company was also assessed $33,880 in civil money penalties.

The order follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

“Employers are responsible for paying their employees all the wages they have legally earned. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to protecting the American workforce, and will continue to provide education and tools to employers to help them understand their responsibilities and how to comply with the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carlos Matos, in Boston. 

The Investigation

The investigation stems from a complaint filed by a Worcester union. As GoLocal reported in 2017:

The Worcester Carpenters union has started to tell local community leaders and elected officials that it has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against P&B Partitions.

P&B Partitions is the New Jersey-based contractor performing work at the 145 Front Street at City Square project in downtown Worcester.

The Complaint

The complaint alleges that P&B violated federal labor law when it fired a carpenter for trying to improve the working conditions of the company’s employees working on the project.

According to a spokesperson for the Worcester-based Carpenters union, the former P&B employee had been speaking with union organizers about concerns he had involving unsafe working conditions and wage and hour violations on the project.

WHD Found

The employer worked on the City Square apartment construction project in Worcester, Massachusetts, between August 2016 and April 2018.

WHD investigators found that the employer paid employees - including laborers, drywall hangers, carpenters, and a lull operator - straight time in cash when they worked overtime hours.

In addition, the employer failed to maintain records of the cash payments, failed to track accurately employees’ work hours, and falsified payroll records.

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