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Cambridge City Council Condemns Callahan

by admin on August 2, 2016

Just days after a $2.6 million settlement was reached against yet another Callahan subcontractor, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of a Policy Order condemning Callahan and urging developers to avoid doing business with general contractors who continually engage in utilizing unscrupulous contractors. 

The Policy Order, which passed unanimously, cited Callahan’s long record of hiring subcontractors who pay their workers under the table, misclassify employees as independent contractors, violate health and safety requirements, and engage in all other manners of illegal and unethical behaviors. An online copy of the orderlinked to numerous newspaper articles and press releases from government agencies documenting the violations of Callahan’s subcontractors.

Mayor Denise Simmons proposed the order, which was also sponsored by Vice Mayor Marc McGovern and Councilor Leland Cheung

“The net effect of engaging in such practices is to make it virtually impossible for honest, law abiding contractors to compete, to cheat the government out of needed tax revenue, to place a heavy strain upon the community’s social service programs and affordable housing stock, and to exploit and endanger the welfare of often vulnerable workers;” reads the order. It goes on to criticize project owners who “perpetuate these immoral practices by hiring Callahan.”

Cambridge joins Quincy, Somerville, Waltham, and other municipalities in their concern over general contractors such as Callahan, who “regularly turn a blind eye to the role their subcontractors may be playing in supporting the underground economy.” These business practices do not support a sustainable and healthy community, and area officials are rightly concerned about the impact these contractors have on their cities and towns. For more information about Callahan, visit


In one of its biggest settlements in recent history, the U.S. Department of Labor has sued Callahan subcontractor Force Corporation for more than $2.6 million in back wages and penalties. This is yet another example of the Callahan Inc. business model – winning bids based on lowering costs through illegal and unethical labor practices. 

The lawsuit lists 478 workers who are owed more than $2.3 million in back pay and liquidated damages because Force Corp. (an area wood framing subcontractor) routinely failed to pay overtime and misclassified the employees as independent contractors. In addition to the $2.3 million in compensation, Force has been fined more than $265,000 in civil penalties. Force Corporation’s predecessor companies, Teles and Twin Pines, were sued just last month by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for $1.3 million in outstanding OSHA fines and fees, bringing their total owed to more than $3.9 million. 

Force Corporation has been a regular subcontractor on Callahan projects – they worked on the Pinehills Independent Living Facility in Plymouth, and are currently performing the wood frame on the Assembly Row project in Somerville.

The most recent lawsuit charges Force Corporation (as well as its subsidiary AB Construction group an downers Juliano Fernandes and Anderson Dos Santos) with “willfully and repeatedly” violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit details the connections between Force Corporation and AB Construction, which it says was created for the purpose of evading overtime laws. 

According to the lawsuit, “employees were paid by both Defendant Force Corporation and Defendant AB Construction Group Inc. during the same workweek, such that overtime hours worked in the workweek were paid at the regular hourly rate.”  The complaint goes on to say that “Defendants used a combination of payroll checks and cash/check payments to pay employees to avoid overtime premium payments.” 

In the Consent Judgement and Order filed with the court on July 18th, Force Corporation agreed to pay $1,179,842.55 in back pay, and another $1,179,842.55 in liquidated damages to the 478 workers listed in the suit. Force also promised not to violate the FSLA’s overtime rules and not to misclassify their employees as independent contractors. Interviews with members of Force’s workforce are already revealing that commitment is not being kept. 

The lawsuits against Force and its predecessors represent only the most recent of the charges against Callahan’s subcontractors. For a more complete history of Callahan’s subcontractors and the lawsuits, fines, and violations against them, visit


If you find this information to be useful and informative, please download the pdf for your records and reference