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Mass. Attorney General Says Company Didn't Pay Bridge Painters Enough

A closed on-ramp to I-291 in Springfield.
Michael S. Gordon
The Republican / masslive.com/photos
A closed on-ramp to I-291 in Springfield.

The Massachusetts attorney general has ordered a Florida company to cough up $45,000, charging it failed to pay enough to workers on a Springfield bridge project.

The attorney general's office said that Gemstone LLC broke the law because it did not pay the prevailing wage to workers painting a bridge on I-291 in Springfield. In Massachusetts, employers have to pay established rates to those working on public works projects.

An investigation also found the company miscalculated overtime rates.

The company's manager, Cameron Jewell, said Friday the underpayment was not intentional.

"It was a clerical bookkeeping error, certainly nothing intentional, certainly nothing criminal," he said. "And in other states that our company works in, payrolls are reviewed on a weekly basis, and if there's a problem with the payrolls, the contractor is notified and the contractor corrects them."

Jewell said the company will pay the money it owes the workers, but will fight the additional fines imposed by the attorney general.