Federal contractor pays more than $99K in back wages

Local News
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A California-based heating, ventilation and air conditioning subcontractor has paid 58 workers $99,681 in back wages after an investigation found federal wage and hour laws were violated on three federally funded construction projects awarded by the U.S. Army in Hawaii between 2011 and 2013.

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators discovered Critchfield Pacific Inc., of San Jose, violated laws governing federal contractors. The subcontractor improperly categorized employees as lower-paid maintenance workers rather than using job titles for those doing plumbing and pipe-fitting work at the Schofield Barracks and Kunia job sites on Oahu. Critchfield exceeded the ratio of lower-paid apprentices to experienced plumbers and sheet-metal workers.

The company also failed to pay employees for time spent at mandatory safety meetings in advance of their scheduled work shifts at Schofield Barracks.

The Davis-Bacon Act requires that all contractors and subcontractors performing work on certain federally funded construction projects pay their laborers and mechanics at least the prevailing wage rates associated with their occupation, as determined by the secretary of labor.

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act applies to contractors and subcontractors with federal service contracts and federally funded and assisted construction contracts exceeding $100,000. It requires contractors and subcontractors on covered contracts to pay laborers and mechanics employed in the performance of the contracts overtime at one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information, contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Honolulu District Office at 808-541-1360 or call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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