Michael Bianco Inc. reaches settlement in federal class-action lawsuit

Michael-Bianco-Inc-FactoryThe lawsuit was filed by 6 Bianco workers in 2007 alleging that they regularly worked 16-hour days — up to 80 hours a week — without being paid overtime. Francesco Insolia, the owner of Michael Bianco Inc., created a fake company called Front Line Defense in order to cheat employees out of overtime by making it appear they were working for two separate companies, the lawsuit alleged.

The company deliberately and intentionally exploited the workforce. Ultimately settlement is reached in the case. Under the settlement agreement Michael Bianco agreed to pay $850,000 in unpaid overtime and wages to more than 750 workers. The U.S. Department of Labor processed the checks.

The checks ranged from less than $20 to $6,000, depending on how much overtime individuals had worked at the factory. Hundreds of workers — many who were detained during a federal immigration at the factory in March 2007 — waited patiently in long lines to receive their checks in the basement of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church.

Greater Boston Legal Services distributed checks to 450 workers who had given the agency permission to accept checks from the U.S. Department of Labor on their behalf. Most of the people  said that they planned to spend the money catching up on bills that they have struggled to pay since losing their job because of the raid. They were happy to receive any amount of money.

Standard FICA and income taxes were withheld from the checks, Ms. Richardson said. Recipients were given information sheets explaining how the settlement money was divided and where they could go for help filing their tax returns.

Individuals who believe they qualify for a settlement check may call (866) 778-0939 or (617) 603-1744 for more information.

Source:southcoasttoday.com

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