Last year, the JTF recovered $15.6 million in unpaid wages, back taxes, unemployment insurance premiums, fines and penalties. Today, JTF has grown to 17 state and federal agencies and advocate organizations and since its inception has collected nearly $56 million from unscrupulous businesses. When unscrupulous employers engage in the fraudulent employment practices of the underground economy, workers are denied basic workplace rights and protections, consumers are subject to unregulated goods and services, legitimate businesses are put at a disadvantage and the Commonwealth loses revenue.
Governor Deval Patrick established the Joint Task Force through an Executive Order in March 2008. The idea was to bring together multiple state and federal agencies to share information and work cooperatively in investigating and prosecuting employers who violate labor, licensing and tax laws. Governor Patrick signed legislation making the JTF a permanent investigatory unit by January 2015.
As detailed in its 2013 Annual Report, the JTF received 176 direct tips through the tip line and online referral service along with hundreds of complaints made directly to partner agencies. In addition to thousands of compliance checks, the JTF’s investigative work included 103 stop work orders issued by the Department of Industrial Accidents, 32 civil citations issued by the Attorney General’s Office and 124 investigations by the Department of Revenue.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated and businesses who suspect they are at an economic disadvantage because of unscrupulous competitors are urged to call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Hotline at 617-727-3465, the JTF Referral Line at 877-965-2267, email tips to JTFTips@state.ma.us or submit complaints at www.mass.gov/lwd/jtf.
Up on the Rooftop—Don’t Put Your Workers at Risk During Snow Removal posted on Feb 18
Removing snow from rooftops on municipal and state properties must be done safely to protect workers from injury. After excessive snowfalls like we have seen, the weight of the snow could impact the structural integrity of roofs and can be a cause for concern. Workers …Continue Reading Up on the Rooftop—Don’t Put Your Workers at Risk During Snow Removal
Turning up the Heat in the Workplace—Guidelines for Minimum Temperatures posted on Feb 4
With indoor heating systems working on overdrive this time of year, the Department of Labor Standards often fields calls about employer obligations for workplace heat in stores, offices, and other indoor businesses. Private sector employers in Massachusetts are obligated by federal law (OSHA) to provide …Continue Reading Turning up the Heat in the Workplace—Guidelines for Minimum Temperatures
The Green Book Goes Digital ‒ Department of Labor Relations Posts First Searchable Database on MA Public Employee Collective Bargaining Laws posted on Feb 2
The Department of Labor Relations (DLR) has created a searchable electronic Green Book, giving readers free and easy access to Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Laws with inter-active links to cited law, regulations and cases.