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Massachusetts investigators are reporting a sharp increase in fines and other penalties collected from businesses caught violating the state’s labor laws.
The report by the state’s Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy detailed $21.4 million in tax and minimum wage violations by employers caught exploiting their workers to increase profits and undercut competing businesses.
That amount, collected between July 2011 and December 2012, exceeded the $18.9 million recovered by the task force during the prior 43 months combined. Officials attributed the increase to widespread efforts by employers to circumvent labor laws in the shaky economy, as well as more effective enforcement by investigators.