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Governor Rell: State Recovers $8.1 Million for Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Adam Liegeot, 860-524-7313

Adam.Liegeot@ct.gov

September 8, 2009

 

Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that Connecticut Department of Labor employees in the agency’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards recovered more than $8.1 million in unpaid wages for workers in Connecticut during the fiscal year ending June 30.

 

“We have a responsibility to protect our workers and ensure that they are paid for the jobs they do,” Governor Rell said. “Each and every Connecticut worker must receive the wages that they rightfully earn.”

 

According to the Governor, Division of Wage and Workplace Standards staff recovered $8,135,302 in legally due wages for employees during the past fiscal year – an increase of more than one million from what was recovered the previous year.  This amount included $3,905,298 recovered by wage enforcement staff responding to complaints that owed wages had not been paid. The division also recovered $1,887,365 by enforcing the state’s prevailing wage laws and returned $2,115,133 to workers that were not paid for overtime or the minimum wage. An additional $227,506 was recouped in back pay owed to service workers hired by private contractors.

 

In addition, a total of 171 Stop Work Orders were issued to employers in the state who did not comply with Worker’s Compensation requirements. Following on-site investigations, the division required these companies to cease work on a construction project until certain workplace regulations were met. In some cases, the division determined that employers misrepresented employees as independent contractors or provided incomplete information regarding the number of their employees with the idea of paying lower insurance premiums – a practice that causes an economic disadvantage to other companies.

 

According to Gary K. Pechie, Director of the Division of Wage and Workplace Standards, the division also handled more than 25,000 telephone and written inquiries during the past fiscal year and provided outreach services to businesses and schools, especially in the area of regulations related to the employment of youth.

 

“We consider the enforcement of child labor laws – in order to keep our young workers safe – to be one of our core missions,” Pechie noted. “Overall, with more than 160 laws pertaining to the protection of workers’ rights, often a law is not fully understood and in these cases, education and information is just as vital as enforcement activities.”

 

Governor Rell urged the business community to take advantage of the state’s extensive outreach efforts, including the easily accessible compliance materials and guidelines found on the Labor Department’s home page at www.ct.gov/dol and listed under the Division of Wage and Workplace Standards.

 

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


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