CT Labor Department Issues Stop Work Orders At Trinity College Construction Site in Hartford
WETHERSFIELD, April 25, 2013 – The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards has issued Stop Work orders to eight companies working at a construction site at Trinity College in Hartford. General contractor for the Crescent Street dormitory project is Consigil Construction, with offices in Hartford.
According to State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, the agency’s Stop Work Unit arrived at the site on the afternoon of April 24 as part of the team’s weekly inspection schedule. Following interviews with contractors, investigators with the agency’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division issued Stop Work orders when eight contractors could not provide records indicating that they were properly registered in Connecticut, and unable to provide required records showing proof of worker’s compensation. Often, these violations indicate employers are misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees of the company.
Stop Work Orders issued April 24, 2013 at the Crescent Street site:
Araujo Services, Shrewsbury, MA
Astro Crane, Boxborough, MA
Avila Plumbing, Lawrence, MA
Covenant Fire Sprinkler, Manchester, NH
Imperial Worldwide, Shrewsbury, MA
Quality Drywall, South Paris, ME
RT Flooring, Tewksbury, MA
WH Demmons, Inc., Portland, ME
Palmer noted that employers will misclassify workers as independent contractors with the intent of avoiding their obligations under federal and state employment laws covering such matters as workers’ compensation, unemployment taxes and payroll reporting. When the agency suspects misclassification abuse, a Stop Work Orders is issued, which result in the halting of all activity at a cited company’s worksite, as well as a $300 civil penalty for each day the company does not carry workers’ compensation coverage as required by law.
“Unfortunately, when an employer fails to properly recognize workers as employees of their company, often they are trying to avoid providing certain protections, such as workers’ compensation,” Palmer noted. “When an employer fails to pay for the proper coverage for injuries suffered on the job and a worker gets hurt, we all lose, since the state’s taxpayers ultimately foot the bill.”
The agency has developed an online site to help educate the public and members of the business community about misclassification laws. Located on the agency’s website at www.ct.gov/dol (find it by clicking on the Wage and Workplace site) it also provides contact information for those wishing to report any suspicions of misclassification.