WHD News Release: [03/15/2011]
Contact Name: John M. Chavez
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075
Release Number: 11-0354-NEW
Review board affirms US Labor Department recovery of more than $792,000 in back wages for 79 employees on New York City’s Vladeck Houses project
Construction company also debarred from federal government contracts for 3 years
NEW YORK Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the department’s Administrative Review Board issued a final agency determination ordering Pythagoras General Contracting Corp., a construction contractor based in Long Island City, to pay $792,396 in back wages for 79 employees. The board also affirmed that Pythagoras and company president Stanley Petsagourakis are debarred from working on future federally funded contracts for three years.
An investigation conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s Brooklyn Area Office determined that Pythagoras violated the wage and benefit requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act while working on a partially federally funded New York City Housing Authority construction project at Vladeck Houses.
“The department will not hesitate to pursue legal action, including debarment, to ensure employees working on federally assisted projects are properly paid under the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, acting administrator for the Wage and Hour Division.
Pythagoras failed to pay some employees at the prevailing wage rate for the skilled labor actually performed
due to misclassification of the employees under the Davis-Bacon Act and routinely failed to pay some employees for all hours worked on the project. Following the contractor’s appeal of an administrative law judge decision in this case, the board ordered the back wage payments and determined Pythagoras’ willful underpayment of wages and failure to pay for all hours worked justified debarment from receiving future government contracts for a three-year period.
The DBA requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay their laborers and mechanics the proper prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the Department of Labor. In addition, the CWHSSA requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers and mechanics one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week.
For more information on the DBA, CWHSSA and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.