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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [06/14/2010]
Contact Name: Jeannine Lupton or Michael Shimizu
Phone Number: (206) 553-7620
Release Number: 10-0709-SEA

US Department of Labor recovers $4.2 million in back wages for 603 Oregon workers

SEATTLE — An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has resulted in the payment of more than $4.2 million in back wages owed to 603 employees of Hermiston, Ore.-based EG&G Technical Services for work at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Umatilla, Ore.

"Most businesses in this country play by the rules and pay their employees what they are due under the law. Those businesses deserve a fair playing field. The U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to take action against employers that violate our laws. I am proud of the hard work of our investigators in recovering back wages for these working families," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division's Portland District Office in Oregon determined the 603 employees involved in maintenance, munitions, DSA tender, operations, control room and warehouse work were underpaid for their time in the workplace. In some instances, workers were not relieved for their lunch time, resulting in inappropriate pay deductions for lunch breaks that could not be taken. The pay deficiencies are a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal labor laws. Civil money penalties have been assessed for the violations.

A related investigation turned up violations at a separate plant in Arkansas operated by EG&G Technical Services. That investigation resulted in payment of $1.6 million in back wages for 404 employees.

Under the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, contractors and subcontractors performing on federal service contracts in excess of $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality. The Contractor and Work Hours Safety Standards Act requires the payment of time and one-half the basic rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Contractors must ensure that their subcontractors are fully informed of requirements under federal government contract labor laws. Those who fail to properly compensate their workers are subject to federal withholding contract clauses that allow the government to withhold contract payments until all workers are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits.

For more information concerning federal government contract laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the division's district office in Portland at 503-326-5952. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.