- The Boston Employment Commission has voted to sanction and levy fines totaling $20,700 against two subcontractors for violating the city’s 40-year-old Residents Jobs Policy, according to radio station GBH News.
- The subcontractors — Bridgeline General Construction in Acton, Massachusetts, and Dykeman Welding and Fabrication in Lawrence, Massachusetts — allegedly failed to file the number of hours that Boston residents, women and people of color worked on their recent projects, GBH News reported. The vote, which occurred earlier this month, marked the first time the commission has fined a construction company for violating the policy.
- Both subs worked for Kaplan Construction, the lead contractor on an affordable rental housing project funded by the city. The fine will be paid for by the subcontractors, which intend to appeal the fine.
“On these demanding projects, there is often limited time to handle the BRJP’s administrative requirements,” Kaplan president Nathan Peck said in a statement emailed to Construction Dive. “Regardless, we do not discount the importance of paperwork and took corrective measures immediately. If you look at the project’s numbers, you’ll see that Kaplan is meeting its hiring requirements and is working hard to achieve the same results across the board with its subcontractors.”
According to the city’s 1983 job policy, which was updated in 2017, most major building projects in the city must employ 51% Boston residents, 40% people of color and 12% women. In 2021, the commission again updated its policy to allow for sanctions or fines against contractors that don’t submit their labor reporting in a timely manner or attend corrective meetings, GBH News reported, but it cannot fine contractors for failing to hit the diversity hiring targets.
The city’s fine recommendations totaled $399,000, but GBH News reported most commissioners elected to not levy the higher sanctions because many employers on the project had a history of hiring Boston residents, women and people of color.
Last summer, the city sought to improve diversity and local hiring across private projects. A measure passed in August requested developers looking to build projects over 20,000 square feet submit plans that include economic participation, employment and management roles for people of color and women within the scope of the project.
Many diversity and equity hiring efforts, however, are mostly aspirational. Even when goals aren’t met on specified contracts, minority contractors have complained there is no teeth enforcing goals once the contract is awarded.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to indicate which parties are responsible for paying the citation, and to include a statement from Kaplan Construction.