Monday, May 30, 2016
By DAN CROWLEY
NORTHAMPTON – Art Butler knows a thing or two about wage theft and the misclassification of workers in the construction industry.
As an inspector for the former state Department of Labor and Industries in the 1970s and ’80s, and attorney general’s office in the ’90s, he’s been shining a light on violators for decades.
At 78, Butler is still roving western Massachusetts, interviewing workers at job sites and mining payroll records, continuing a decades-long effort to stamp out fraud and protect not only workers but also companies that play by the rules.
“There’s a lot of it out there,” says Butler, who has spent the last 16 years with the Foundation for Fair Contracting of Massachusetts, a nonprofit watchdog group that targets wage theft and compliance with public bidding laws in the commonwealth. “What we try to do is keep it honest.”