BOSTON – The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has entered a consent order that three Canton construction businesses and their president, Charles L. Capone, pay a total of $310,000 – $155,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – to 19 employees following an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
After an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division, the department found that Capone Bros. Inc., Capco Equipment Corp., American Earth Products and Charles Capone violated the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act willfully.
The department alleged that the defendants failed to pay affected employees time-and-one-half their regular pay rates when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, they banked employees’ overtime hours and, in subsequent weeks, sometimes paid out those hours without any overtime premium. Capone and his companies also failed to keep accurate records of employees’ work hours.
In addition to payment of the wages and damages, the judgment enjoins the defendants from violating the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements permanently, and from failing to cooperate with Wage and Hour Division investigations. It also requires them to provide investigators with truthful responses and other information and documents and access to all required records.
“When employers violate the Fair Labor Standards Act willfully, they not only cheat their employees, they place law-abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carlos Matos in Boston. “We encourage other employers to heed the results of this case, review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law and contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions they may have so that they can prevent violations like those found in this case.”
In separate ongoing litigation, the department continues to seek an order permanently preventing defendants Capone Bros. Inc. and Charles L. Capone from retaliating against former and current employees who cooperated with the division’s investigation and an order awarding punitive damages to affected employees. The department obtained a preliminary injunction in April under the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA.
“Retaliating against employees because they cooperate or may cooperate with a Wage and Hour Division investigation is illegal and egregious. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to act swiftly, as we did in this case, to protect employees’ rights and ensure that employers do not retaliate against employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston. “We will also aggressively pursue any back wages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages that employees are owed as a result of employers’ FLSA violations.”
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
Walsh v. Capone Bros. Inc., Capco Equipment Corp., American Earth Products and Charles L. Capone Civil Action No. 21-cv-11160.
Walsh v. Capone Bros. Inc. and Charles L. Capone Civil Action No. 21-cv-10585