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Allston, Mass., employer to pay $250,000 in back wages and damages to 42 workers following US Labor Department investigation

Allston real estate and property management company Alpha Management Corp. and its owner, Anwar Faisal, have agreed to pay a total of $250,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 42 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.  The Wage and Hour Division's Boston District Office found that the company and Faisal violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying 42 workers as independent contractors and employing them for more than 40 hours per workweek without paying overtime for the excess hours. The employees worked as painters, maintenance employees, janitors, electricians, plumbers, floor installers and security guards at properties owned by Mr. Faisal and at other locations, such as Northeastern University.

"Employers who either intentionally or negligently misclassify their employees as independent contractors, thus avoiding paying legally required wages, are not just cheating vulnerable workers, they are also undercutting those employers who obey the law and pay their employees properly," said Dieera Fitzgerald, assistant director for the division's Boston office, which conducted the investigation.  Under the agreement, Alpha and Faisal will pay the workers $125,000 in back wages, minus legally required payroll taxes, covering the period of Nov. 16, 2008, through Nov. 13, 2010, plus an equal amount of liquidated damages. Proof of payment must be submitted to the Wage and Hour Division by Jan. 4, 2012. If Alpha and Faisal fail to comply with the terms of the agreement, including future compliance with all applicable provisions of the FLSA, they face possible legal action in U.S. district court. (click on link to read full story)

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