Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Andrea Campbell recently announced a number of citations against Quick Temp., Inc. (the company), its owner, and its manager, for alleged wage, sick time, and records violations.

The now defunct company — having ceased operations in March 2022 — previously connected employees as day laborers with waste management client companies. According to Campbell, “Quick Temp repeatedly denied their employees a prevailing wage and other benefits guaranteed to them by law.”

The Massachusetts AG was apprised of the alleged violations by Teamsters Local 25, which reported that the company had been paying workers significantly less than the prevailing wage rate required by multiple municipalities’ waste management contracts. The Teamsters also disclosed that employees were required to cash pay “vouchers” at a local check cashing establishment, which required a fee to do so.

A subsequent investigation by the Massachusetts AG determined that, in addition to prevailing wage violations, the company deducted wages from pay for cashing vouchers, did not pay overtime, failed to pay a minimum wage, failed to keep true and accurate records, and did not furnish earned sick leave. The citations issued by the Massachusetts AG total $1,392,665, in restitution and civil fines.

State AGs have consistently targeted wage theft as an issue of considerable concern — with several lawsuits being brought just this year by the AGs for District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, to name a few. In some instances, state AGs have even employed the False Claims Act to address prevailing wage violations[1]. Although state labor departments are generally the primary regulator for workplace laws, state AGs operate as the legal mechanism that allows for the pursuit of criminal prosecutions and the filing of lawsuits. Nine state AG offices, including Massachusetts, have dedicated labor units[2] — with several others housing staff specifically designated to focus on workers’ issues[3].

Why It Matters

The citations against Quick Temp should come as no surprise, given the unwaning attention that state AGs nationwide have afforded to workers’ rights, particularly with respect to wages. Companies seeking to avoid prosecution or citations from state AGs must remain cognizant of the laws relevant to their employment practices, and should seek legal assistance in order to ensure continued compliance.

[1] The New York AG and the New York City comptroller recovered $3 million in a False Claims Act case alleging that luxury buildings received a tax abatement but failed to meet the requirement to either provide affordable housing or pay prevailing wages to building service workers.

[2] (California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania).

[3] (Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maine).

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Judy Jagdmann
Judy is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy and Enforcement (RISE) practice, based in the Richmond office. She brings experience serving as chair and commissioner of the Virginia State Corporate Commission (VSCC) from 2006 through 2022, which includes regulating the utilities, insurance, banking, and securities industries. She also served as Virginia’s attorney general from 2005-2006.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Michael Yaghi
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
Tim Bado
Tim is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, with a primary focus on financial services litigation.
Chris Carlson
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata Kang
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Michael Lafleur
Michael is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy, and Enforcement Practice Group. Based out of the firm’s Boston office, Mike has deep experience in litigation, investigations, and other regulatory matters involving state-level regulators and state attorneys general.
Susan Nikdel
Susan is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and focuses her practice on consumer financial services matters. She has defended several of the nation’s largest and most influential financial institutions in individual and class action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and other consumer privacy statutes. Susan also represents banks, fintechs, and financial services companies in connection with regulatory examinations and investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general, and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
John Sample
John represents clients in a wide variety of general and complex litigation matters, shareholder disputes, products liability, and privacy claims.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Trey Smith
Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement practice. His experience includes serving as a summer associate at the firm in 2021.
Daniel Waltz
An experienced litigator, Daniel advises and represents regional, national and international companies, financial institutions and insurers in all facets of business, complex commercial and insurance coverage litigation. He is committed to working with his clients to find creative solutions to meet their needs.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.