Palmer contractor paying $61K to settle wage law violation claims

AK Electric accused of misclassifying some workers as apprentices

BOSTON (WWLP) – A Palmer-based electrical contractor has paid more than $61,000 to settle claims that they violated the state prevailing wage law. According to a news release from the office of Attorney General Maura Healey, AK Electric allegedly misclassified several workers as apprentices, when they were not registered as such.

The project in question was going on at UMass Amherst, and such public projects are highly regulated. Under state law, employees classified as apprentices must be registered with the Division of Apprentice Standards. If they are not registered, they must be paid at a higher rate than the minimum wage for apprentices.

“The enforcement of these laws is essential to making sure workers are receiving their hard-earned wages and that businesses are operating on a level playing field,” Healey said.

Healey’s office says that six employees will receive restitution payments as a result of the settlement, while other portions of the settlement are for penalties.

22News has left a message with AK Electric for a response to the allegations and settlement, though we have not yet heard back.

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