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Contractor Settles Minority Claims Case

Thursday, November 5, 2015

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A Massachusetts construction company will pay $190,000 and conduct training to resolve allegations it failed to comply with equal opportunity requirements on more than a dozen public construction contracts over a two-year period, authorities have announced.

D’Allessandro Corp., of Avon, was accused of violating the state’s consumer protection laws and False Claims Act by failing to subcontract a certain percentage of work to businesses known as Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE), according to Attorney General Maura Healey.

According to the settlement document filed Monday (Nov. 2) in Suffolk Superior Court, the company will pay the Commonwealth $165,000 in penalties and $25,000 for costs and fees associated with the investigation, the AG’s Office said Tuesday (Nov. 3).

© / zimmytws

D'Allessandro Corp., of Avon, MA, has agreed to pay $190,000 to resolve the case.

The settlement document was not immediately available for review. The company, which performs a variety of services including paving and site preparation throughout the greater Boston area, did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the settlement.

Equal Opportunities

“Construction companies that take advantage of programs aimed at boosting opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses will be held accountable by our office,” Healey said.

“Equal opportunity requirements in public contracts are meant to ensure that all businesses have the chance to engage in government work and we will do all we can to protect that right.”

In addition to the penalties, the contractor will also conduct annual trainings for all current employees in Massachusetts concerning compliance with M/WBE contract provisions and applicable laws.

Investigation Results

The case against D’Allessandro was referred to the AG’s Office by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General.

The investigation found that between January 2008 and January 2010, the contractor procured and performed 15 public projects. The company was said to have listed a minority-owned business called Luxor Equipment, now known as Margen Inc., as a M/WBE on the contracts.

at the jobsite
© / Prebranac

Generally, public construction contracts contain provisions requiring that not less than a certain percentage of the contract be performed by minority or women-owned businesses.

In general, public construction contracts contain provisions requiring that not less than a certain percentage of the contract be performed by M/WBEs, and bidders must agree to meet these percentages as a pre-condition of receiving a contract. Failure to comply with the provisions can result in a loss of the contract or damages, according to the AG’s Office.

Instead of performing the work itself, Luxor, however, contracted out work to non-minority/women businesses, while D’Allessandro improperly claimed full minority/women business enterprise credit for the work, according to Healey.

The case follows a $1.4 million settlement with three construction companies, including Margen/Luxor, to resolve allegations that they falsely certified their compliance.


Tagged categories: Bidding; Business management; Business matters; Contractors; Good Technical Practice; Government; Government contracts; North America

Comment from Robert Munn, (11/5/2015, 6:23 AM)

The quota system in public contracting (or any other arena)is doomed by definition. In our experience, when contractors can competently perform a service, and do so at competitive rates, they will get work without help from anyone. It's called the market, and it has been working for a thousand years.

Comment from john lienert, (11/5/2015, 8:36 AM)

used to be a "FREE" market system

Comment from Rodney White, (11/6/2015, 9:17 AM)

This has always bugged me- business operators are constantly reminded that hiring/ retention should never be based on the color of skin, the sex, or religious convictions of the applicant, or risk being sued, fined, or jailed if discrimination is found at the base of a hiring/ retention decision. BUT, if you are a contractor and wish to do public work, you are then directed to discriminate based on skin color, sex, even religious preference. Big government is welcome to set safety parameters, but stay the hell out of hiring decisions. I agree with Robert- the market will determine the worthiness of participants without any help from Government.

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