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Governor Rell: State Recovers More Than $7 Million in Wages for Employees

For immediate release
September 5, 2010

CONTACT: Rich Harris, 860-299-6237

rich.harris@ct.gov

  

As Connecticut prepares to once again celebrate Labor Day, Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that state Department of Labor’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards recovered more than $7 million in unpaid wages for workers in Connecticut during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

 

“We have a responsibility to protect the workers of Connecticut and ensure that they are paid for the jobs they do,” Governor Rell said. “Each and every employee should receive the wages they rightfully earn. Whether the issue is unpaid overtime or a dispute over worker’s compensation, the state is ready to help resolve the problem.

 

“I would urge the business community to take advantage of our extensive outreach efforts, including the easily accessible compliance materials and guidelines found on the Labor Department’s web site,” the Governor said. “Go to www.ct.gov/dol and look under the Division of Wage and Workplace Standards.”

 

According to the Governor, Division of Wage and Workplace Standards staff recovered a total of $7,026,173.69 in legally due wages for employees during the past fiscal year.

 

This amount included $3,177,182 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 $1,811,911 to workers who were not paid for overtime or the minimum wage. An additional $149,714 was recouped in back pay owed to service workers hired by private contractors.

 

In addition, a total of 168 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. In these cases, education and information is just as vital as enforcement activities.”

Media contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


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