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US Department of Labor obtains injunction to prevent Nashua, New Hampshire, employer from intimidating employees in wage lawsuit
CONCORD, N.H. — The U.S. Department of Labor has secured a preliminary injunction against Nashua painting contractor Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc., and its officers and agents, to prevent them from intimidating, retaliating or discriminating against current or former employees involved in a federal investigation and lawsuit.
The department originally filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire against the company owner and president Kevin Corriveau, vice president Brian Corriveau and treasurer Sharon Mercuri in October 2012. An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division found that the defendants violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and required employees to falsify time cards. The case is in litigation.
In court papers, the department alleged that in July 2014, former employees of Kevin Corriveau Painting informed the Wage and Hour Division that Kevin Corriveau and Jeffrey Levinson, who represented himself as Corriveau's legal counsel, harassed and intimidated workers into signing affidavits, which contained false statements. The defendants provided the affidavits to the department during the discovery phase of the litigation to convince the department and the court that no violations had been committed.
"Employees have the legal right to speak freely with investigators or other department officials without being threatened, coerced or subject to physical or verbal abuse by their employer or his agents. Such behavior is against the law. This couldn't be simpler or clearer," said Daniel Cronin, the Wage and Hour Division's district director for northern New England.
"Seeking and obtaining an injunction of this type is a rare and extraordinary step, but one that was warranted under the circumstances," said Michael Felsen, the department's regional solicitor of labor for New England. "If the defendants violate the terms of the injunction, they will be held accountable to the court including, if justified, the imposition of contempt sanctions."
The preliminary injunction, which defendants agreed to without trial after the department filed legal papers seeking it, prohibits the defendants and their agents from discriminating against any workers or witnesses in the legal proceedings; prevents them from communicating directly or indirectly with employees or former employees about issues in the case; precludes their use of the submitted affidavits; and requires the reading of a statement to all employees, in English and Spanish, informing them of their right to speak with representatives of the department without retaliation or threats.
The Wage and Hour Division's Manchester District Office investigated the case. Trial attorneys Scott Miller, James Glickman, Dustin Saldarriaga and Avni Amin of the department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston are litigating the case.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Manchester District Office at 603-666-7716. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
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Perez v. Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc., Kevin Corriveau, Brian Corriveau, Sharon Mercuri and Jeffrey Levinson Civil Action Number: 1:12-cv-000356-PB
- Read this news release in Spanish.