Fair Labor Wage Theft Case Examples

Ava Sasani filed this request with the Attorney General's Office of Massachusetts .
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Crowdfund Request: Fair Labor Wage Theft Case Examples

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Over 1,000 working people in Massachusetts had their wages stolen last year

The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for combating wage theft in the state, and Attorney General Maura Healey has made combating wage theft a centerpiece of her second term.

But without access to wage theft case documents, we have very little insight into how Healey is dealing with employers that steal wages.

To understand how the Massachusetts government is dealing with wage theft, MuckRock requested files on the Attorney General’s investigations into four companies that have allegedly stolen wages from their workers .

Help cover the request fees needed to free these docs!

Backed by Bill Okerman.

$25.00 raised out of $230.00.

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Communications

From: Ava Sasani


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

All case files and investigative materials for following four closed wage theft cases:

1)The 2018 investigation into E.J. Paving Company, Inc. and its president, Thomas Evangelista, in which the Fair Labor Division cited a total of $172,554.42
The investigation: https://www.mass.gov/news/ag-recovers-more-than-170000-in-wages-and-penalties-from-paving-company-for-failing-to-pay

2) The 2019 investigation into Khalifa Mohamed Aldhaheri and Mona Alqubaisi for failing to pay their live-in workers
The investigation:
https://www.mass.gov/news/three-couples-cited-nearly-450000-for-failing-to-pay-their-live-in-domestic-workers

3) The 2019 investigation into Eversource for underpaying workers
The investigation: https://www.mass.gov/news/ags-investigation-finds-3000-eversource-workers-underpaid-company-to-pay-penalty-for-wage-and

4) The 2019 investigation into Green Life Janitorial, citation #18-02-48590-003
The investigation is in line #894 in the following spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pcCvQON8UE40jsDkr2j3V8fHZ5SVyi-d4j_e44J7lQ0/edit?usp=sharing

For the above three cases, I am requesting all documents in which:

the Fair Labor Division’s Hotline and Intake Coordinators to decide whether or not to refer a wage-related complaint to the Wage and Hour Investigators
all materials used by Wage and Hour Investigators to decide whether or not to begin investigating a wage complaint.
Guiding criteria used in the issuance of a citation
Guiding criteria used to prioritize further legal action brought by the Attorney General’s Office against an employer
Any notes or reports about these cases written by either the Assistant Attorneys General, Hotline and Intake Coordinators, or Wage and Hour Investigators who worked on the 2019 Eversource investigation (bullet #3 in the above list of cases)
Any emails or communications between the Attorney General’s Office staff and the Green Life Janitorial (or Green Life Janitorial’s representing attorneys) AFTER the initial citation was issued.
Any spreadsheets, logs, or other digital or written databases that track an employer’s compliance with citations issued by the Attorney General’s Office

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Ava Sasani

From: Ava Sasani

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

All case files and investigative materials for following four closed wage theft cases:

1)The 2018 investigation into E.J. Paving Company, Inc. and its president, Thomas Evangelista, in which the Fair Labor Division cited a total of $172,554.42
The investigation: https://www.mass.gov/news/ag-recovers-more-than-170000-in-wages-and-penalties-from-paving-company-for-failing-to-pay

2) The 2019 investigation into Khalifa Mohamed Aldhaheri and Mona Alqubaisi for failing to pay their live-in workers
The investigation:
https://www.mass.gov/news/three-couples-cited-nearly-450000-for-failing-to-pay-their-live-in-domestic-workers

3) The 2019 investigation into Eversource for underpaying workers
The investigation: https://www.mass.gov/news/ags-investigation-finds-3000-eversource-workers-underpaid-company-to-pay-penalty-for-wage-and

4) The 2019 investigation into Green Life Janitorial, citation #18-02-48590-003
The investigation is in line #894 in the following spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pcCvQON8UE40jsDkr2j3V8fHZ5SVyi-d4j_e44J7lQ0/edit?usp=sharing

For the above three cases, I am requesting all documents in which:

the Fair Labor Division’s Hotline and Intake Coordinators to decide whether or not to refer a wage-related complaint to the Wage and Hour Investigators
all materials used by Wage and Hour Investigators to decide whether or not to begin investigating a wage complaint.
Guiding criteria used in the issuance of a citation
Guiding criteria used to prioritize further legal action brought by the Attorney General’s Office against an employer
Any notes or reports about these cases written by either the Assistant Attorneys General, Hotline and Intake Coordinators, or Wage and Hour Investigators who worked on the 2019 Eversource investigation (bullet #3 in the above list of cases)
Any emails or communications between the Attorney General’s Office staff and the Green Life Janitorial (or Green Life Janitorial’s representing attorneys) AFTER the initial citation was issued.
Any spreadsheets, logs, or other digital or written databases that track an employer’s compliance with citations issued by the Attorney General’s Office

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Ava Sasani

From: Attorney General's Office

Dear Ms. Sasani,

On the behalf of AAG Tarrow, please find attached the AGO's response to your recent public records requests.

Very truly yours,
Thomas Freeman
Paralegal - General Counsel's Office
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
o: (617) 963-2293
Thomas.Freeman@mass.gov<mailto:Thomas.Freeman@mass.gov>

From: Ava Sasani

Hello,

Thank you so much for your response! I would like to temporarily amend the part of my request that you have called "Request C." For now, I would like to ONLY request the documents related to the investigation into Winchester's Green Life Janitorial (bullet #4). Between 2018 and 2019, four complaints were filed against Green Life, specifically Antonio Ramos Silva and Rosilene Silva.

Please include all files between March 2019 related to Green Life Janitorial's Fair Labor Division files.

This should include documentation of:
1) How much did Green Life pay after their first two citations in 2019? On 3/20/2019, Green Life was cited for Non-Payment of Wages
Failure to Furnish True and Accurate Records to the AGO (assessed at $5,400.00 and $7,500.00, respectively). The citation number for these two 2019 complaints are 18-02-48590-003 and 18-02-48590-004.
According to the AGO's publicly available data set (linked below) neither of these citations were paid in full.
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/fair-labor-division-data
The documents I am requesting should include the AGO's record of how much Green Life paid for either of those citations.

2) All communications, email or otherwise, between the Attorney General's Office and Green Life Janitorial (or the Silvas themselves or their attorneys) between 3/20/2019 and 7/15/2019.

3) All intake data and records relating to the receipt of the above 2019 complaints against Green Life Janitorial. If the employees filing the complaint used the online FLD form, I would like that. If the employees called the Fair Labor Hotline to report their complaints, I would like the FLD intake coordinator's documentation of that phone call.

Because your estimate was 12 hours of work, and I am temporarily focusing in on just one quarter of the original request, I expect this amendment to make my request fall well within my free 4 hours of work.

Please respond with a new estimated completion date as soon as possible, thanks so much!
Ava Sasani

From: Ava Sasani

Hello,

Thank you so much for your response! I would like to temporarily amend the part of my request that you have called "Request C." For now, I would like to ONLY request the documents related to the investigation into Winchester's Green Life Janitorial (bullet #4). Between 2018 and 2019, four complaints were filed against Green Life, specifically Antonio Ramos Silva and Rosilene Silva.

Please include all files between March 2019 related to Green Life Janitorial's Fair Labor Division files.

This should include documentation of:
1) How much did Green Life pay after their first two citations in 2019? On 3/20/2019, Green Life was cited for Non-Payment of Wages
Failure to Furnish True and Accurate Records to the AGO (assessed at $5,400.00 and $7,500.00, respectively). The citation number for these two 2019 complaints are 18-02-48590-003 and 18-02-48590-004.
According to the AGO's publicly available data set (linked below) neither of these citations were paid in full.
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/fair-labor-division-data
The documents I am requesting should include the AGO's record of how much Green Life paid for either of those citations.

2) All communications, email or otherwise, between the Attorney General's Office and Green Life Janitorial (or the Silvas themselves or their attorneys) between 3/20/2019 and 7/15/2019.

3) All intake data and records relating to the receipt of the above 2019 complaints against Green Life Janitorial. If the employees filing the complaint used the online FLD form, I would like that. If the employees called the Fair Labor Hotline to report their complaints, I would like the FLD intake coordinator's documentation of that phone call.

Because your estimate was 12 hours of work, and I am temporarily focusing in on just one quarter of the original request, I expect this amendment to make my request fall well within my free 4 hours of work.

Please respond with a new estimated completion date as soon as possible, thanks so much!
Ava Sasani

From: Attorney General's Office

Please see attached.

Jon Cubetus
Paralegal - General Counsel's Office
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
o: (617) 963-2089
Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov<mailto:Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov>

Visit our Website<https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey>, Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/MassAttorneyGeneral/>, Twitter<https://twitter.com/MassAGO/>, and Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/mass_ago>.

From: JPat Brown


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $37.50 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Ava Sasani

Hi Jon,

Just wanted to check in about this request, do you know when I could get my documents back? As you can see, my amended request was paid for last week.

Let me know, thanks!
Ava

From: Attorney General's Office

Hi Ava,

We are working to get you the records early next week. Thanks!

Very truly yours,

Jon Cubetus
Paralegal – General Counsel’s Office
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
o: (617) 963-2089
Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov<mailto:Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov>

Visit our Website<https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey>, Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/MassAttorneyGeneral/>, Twitter<https://twitter.com/MassAGO/>, and Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/mass_ago>.

From: Attorney General's Office

Ava,

Please see attached.

Thanks very much.

Jon Cubetus
Paralegal – General Counsel’s Office
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
o: (617) 963-2089
Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov<mailto:Jonathan.Cubetus@mass.gov>

Visit our Website<https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey>, Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/MassAttorneyGeneral/>, Twitter<https://twitter.com/MassAGO/>, and Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/mass_ago>.

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