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Governor Rell Announces $8.7 Million Recovered in Owed Wages for Workers

For immediate release
August 13, 2007

CONTACT: Adam Liegeot, 860-524-7313

Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that the Connecticut Department of Labor's Division of Wage & Workplace Standards recovered a record $8.7 million in unpaid wages for Connecticut workers during fiscal year 2006-2007.

"Earning a living and being fairly paid for the work you do is one of the basic principles in the life of the American worker," Governor Rell said. "Ensuring that every employee in Connecticut is given the proper protections and receives a fair wage as defined by state laws will always be a priority for my administration.

"The employees who earned these wages depend on this income to support their families," the Governor added. "I commend employees in the Wage and Workplace Standards Division for their ability to successfully investigate wage-related complaints while promoting healthy business relationships through the use of proactive outreach and education efforts."

According to Governor Rell, $3.2 million was recovered by the Labor Department after it investigated 3,449 complaints from workers who claimed they were not paid wages owed to them. Another $1.9 million was recovered by enforcing Connecticut's prevailing wage laws while investigators returned an additional $1.7 million to workers who either were not paid for overtime work or the required minimum wage. The department also collected $1.9 million in back wages owed to service workers who were hired under state contracts to do jobs on state property.

"The $8.7 million collected by our employees reflects the importance we place on serving the state's workforce and our law-abiding employers," said State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. "Whether it be through voluntary employer compliance, or, when that can not be achieved, through legal avenues such as warrants and court action, the goal is to meet the needs of our workers and strengthen relationships within the business community."

According to Gary Pechie, Director of the Division of Wage & Workplace Standards, the unit recovered the wages in accordance with General Statutes Title 31, Chapter 557, Part III, and Chapter 558. The unit handled more than 25,000 telephone and written inquiries during the past fiscal year and issued more than 1,000 citations for child labor violations. Staff also investigated approximately 70 complaints that alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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