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AG Orders Chelmsford Home-care Company to Pay $200G in Fines, Restitution

September 20, 2018

CHELMSFORD -- A private North Chelmsford home-care company has paid more than $200,000 in penalties and restitution to 175 employees as part of a settlement with the state Attorney General’s Office for failing to pay travel and overtime over three years.

Between August 2014 and August 2017, Petra Health Care LLC and managers John and Joanne Wachira failed to pay employees for the time they spent traveling between client visits and for overtime, according to a Wednesday statement from the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

“My office works hard to make sure that employers understand and comply with state wage and labor laws,” Healey said in the statement. “We are pleased that through this settlement, Petra’s employees will be paid what they are owed.”

Petra and the Wachiras paid $217,335 in penalties and restitution as part of the settlement.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began investigating Petra upon receiving a complaint from a former employee alleging non-payment of wages.

The division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating payment of wages. This includes prevailing and minimum wages, earned sick time and overtime laws.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lisa C. Price and Investigator Deborah Woodson.

Workers who believe their rights have been violated in their workplace can file complaints at mass.gov/ago/wagetheft . Information about state wage and hour laws is available at the office’s Fair Labor Hotline at 617-727-3465 or mass.gov/ago/fairlabor .

Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alana.lowellsun or on Twitter @alanamelanson.

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