Mass. attorney general releases report on protecting workers

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has released an annual Labor Day report to describe her office’s efforts to combat wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation.

The report, “Protecting Massachusetts Workers,” was released Monday. The office’s fair labor division enforces wage and hour laws.

The report says the division assessed more than $9.6 million in restitution and penalties in fiscal 2018 against employers who steal wages, misclassify workers and exploit young workers.

Healey says the construction and hospitality industries continued to have the highest percentage of violations cited.

About 5,700 complaints were processed. One-quarter of the roughly 600 citations were for non-payment of wages.

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Healey, a Democrat, says that on Labor Day, it’s time to recommit to ending wage theft, supporting unionization, stopping labor trafficking and advocating for workers every day.