(The following press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General's
Office was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7, 2013
AG COAKLEY TO FINE NATIONAL GRID $270,000 FOR FAILING TO TIMELY PAY WORKERS FOR
WORK PERFORMED DURING AND SINCE HURRICANE SANDY
Hundreds of Workers Still Left Uncompensated for Work; National Grid May Be
Fined For Each Additional Week That Workers Remain Without Pay
BOSTON - With hundreds of Massachusetts workers still unpaid after
more than nine weeks, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has fined
National Grid $270,000 for various violations of the state's wage and hour laws.
National Grid had previously set a self-imposed target date of December 14 to
correct the pay issues. After that date had passed, AG Coakley sent a
ational-grid-payments.html> calling for the energy company to rectify all wage
issues no later than December 21 or face penalties.
"These workers provided a vital service during a storm that knocked out power
for thousands of families across the eastern seaboard, including here in
Massachusetts," AG Coakley said. "The continued delays in paying workers their
hard earned wages is unacceptable and National Grid should do whatever it can
to resolve this matter immediately."
In November 2012, National Grid's new pay system encountered technical
difficulties that resulted in a host of pay related issues, largely in
connection with compensation for work performed during Hurricane Sandy.
Thousands of problems were identified company-wide including the failure to pay
wages in a timely manner to nearly 2,000 Massachusetts workers who worked to
ensure that residents of Massachusetts and neighboring states had their power
Many workers have suffered financial stress and hardship from not getting paid
on time, sometimes for weeks. For example, multiple employees who had financial
payments directly debited from their pay - including payments for child
support, alimony or college tuition - received warning letters for failure to
meet those obligations because of National Grid's payroll problems. Working
with the Attorney General's Office, National Grid has prioritized many hardship
cases that were brought to its attention over the past nine weeks.
After nine weeks, hundreds of Massachusetts workers continue to
suffer pay-related problems constituting violations of Massachusetts wage and
hour laws, including untimely payment of wages, inaccurate payroll records, and
failure to pay earned overtime. The AG's Office reserves its right to issue
further penalties in the future, should National Grid fail to fully rectify
these violations in a timely manner.
Under Massachusetts law, wages must be paid no later than six days
from the end of the pay period during which the wages were earned. The Attorney
General has the authority to issue fines for failure to comply with the statute.
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