The Maine Department of Labor recovered nearly $475,000 in wages that employers failed to pay workers in 2021.

Labor officials took the extra step of publishing the names of more than two dozen penalized employers on a website. Going forward, the state said it intends to update the website quarterly.

Scott Cotnoir, director of the labor department’s wage and hour division, said publicizing business names will encourage workers to report violations and deter other businesses from violating the law.

“Bringing non-compliant employers into compliance ensures that everyone is playing by the same rules: workers are paid what they are owed, and law-abiding employers can compete on a level playing field,” he said.

If an employer is cooperative, the labor department may suspend a portion of the assessed penalties, but offending companies must still pay employees back wages owed to employees.

The department said it negotiated four settlement agreements in 2020 and 10 last year.