MANCHESTER, N.H. — Editors Note: The original article was posted on August 4, 2015 by the New Hampshire Union Leader.
After investigating reports that Nashua-based contractor Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc., was routinely neglecting to adequately pay their employees, the Department of Labor named them in a federal lawsuit filed in October 2012, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Rather than attempting to offer appropriate compensation to settle the charges brought against them, Corriveau Inc., continued to challenge the Department of Labor’s findings from preliminary investigations through trial in federal court.
However, an August 2015 court decision reported that the presiding judge had sided with the Department of Labor and their findings that Corriveau Inc., denied to uphold the overtime and minimum wage standards that apply to their employees. As part of the court decision, Corriveau Inc., was ordered to pay 157 of their employees over $427,300 to cover the wages that had been previously withheld from them.
Within the $427,300, a $10,000 payment will be made to a Corriveau Inc., employee who was retaliated against after assisting with the Department of Labor’s investigation.
Aside from monetary payment the court also ordered that the company would be required to hire an independent monitor to review all financial records and inspect work conditions for at least three years. This independent monitor will conduct confidential interviews with Corriveau Inc., employees and report directly to the Department of Labor and the presiding judge to confirm that all Fair Labor Standards Act regulations are being properly followed.
When asked to comment, district director of the Manchester branch of the wage and hour division of the Department of Labor, Daniel Cronin offered the following statement:
“This judgment commits the defendants to extensive corrective action to pay their employees and properly advise them of their legal rights. Underpaying employees not only penalizes workers economically, it also undercuts law-abiding employers who pay their workers a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
What Labor Laws Did Kevin Corriveau Inc., Violate?
The lawsuit brought against Kevin Corriveau Inc., named the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Rhode Island State Law as labor codes that were violated by the company’s practices.
Regarding Rhode Island State Law, it was determined that Corriveau Inc., violated the state mandated minimum wage law in which all employees – unless properly exempt – must be paid a wage of at least $7.25 per hour. Although Corriveau Inc., workers met the standards to be protected by the Rhode Island minimum wage, the company frequently paid an average wage well below this requirement.
Not only did Corriveau Inc., violate their employees right to receive the minimum wage for their work, but the company also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act as they routinely failed to compensate workers for any overtime hours worked. By FLSA ruling, an employee who works above 40 hours in a standard 7-day work week – unless properly exempt – must be paid 150% of their standard hourly rate for all hours worked after 40.
By violating two of the most important worker protection laws, Corriveau Inc., subjected their employees to economic hardship that if dictated by the quality and quantity of their work, should not have occurred.
New Hampshire Worker Rights
Workers who believe that they were subjected to unfair or illegal wage tactics by their employers should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page to begin pursuing efforts to determine if your employer violated any labor laws and pursue legal action against them if they did.