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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [12/31/2012]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 12-2446-DAL

US Department of Labor recovers more than $133,000 in back wages and benefits for 28 workers of Memphis-based tent and awning company

Employees in New Orleans not paid prevailing wage, overtime

NEW ORLEANS — Mahaffey Tent and Awning Co. Inc., doing business as Mahaffey Fabric Structures, has paid $133,285 in back wages and fringe benefits to 28 current and former workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. The investigation found that the company violated the requirements of the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

"Taxpayers have a right to expect that federal contractors who are paid with tax dollars will comply with the law. The Labor Department will not allow companies to abuse that trust," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "We will continue to use all enforcement tools available to ensure that employees are paid what they have rightfully earned, and to ensure a level playing field for employers. Companies who play by the rules must not be placed at a disadvantage to those who do not."

An investigation by the division's New Orleans District Office found that Mahaffey Fabric Structures violated the SCA by failing to pay employees working at Fort Polk in Vernon Parris the proper prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits required for the categories of work performed. Investigators also determined that some employees were wrongly classified as laborers rather than general maintenance workers or forklift operators, which both require payment at higher rates. The employer violated CWHSSA when it failed to pay employees time and one-half of the required prevailing rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

Memphis, Tenn.-based Mahaffey Fabric Structures, a tent and fabric structure rental company, has agreed to comply fully with the SCA and CWHSSA in the future. Back wages have been paid in full.

Under the SCA, contractors and subcontractors working 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 CWHSSA requires the payment of time and one-half employees' basic rates of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week. Primary contractors must ensure that subcontractors are fully informed of the requirements of the labor laws regarding federal government contracts.

For more information about the SCA, CWHSSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), or its New Orleans office at 504-589-6171. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.