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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [08/10/2010]
Contact Name: Michael D'Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: 404-562-2076 or x2078
Release Number: 10-0866-DAL

Houston-based construction company and subcontractors pay nearly $137,000 in back wages to 140 workers after US Labor Department investigation

DALLAS — Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, prime contractor Williams Brothers Construction in Houston and subcontractors Cimolai USA and Cosme have agreed to collectively pay $136,679 in back wages to 140 current and former construction employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Davis-Bacon Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. The workers were performing work on the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge project over the Trinity River in Dallas.

"The Department of Labor is committed to vigorous enforcement of the law to ensure that all workers are paid their full wages and any accrued overtime pay," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "We are pleased that these employees have been paid the back wages they are entitled to receive."

The investigation by the division's Dallas District Office determined that Williams Brothers failed to properly pay overtime to its employees who worked on Texas Department of Transportation contracts receiving federal funding. Additionally, the company violated the FLSA by failing to include overtime pay for safety bonuses. As a result, Williams Brothers agreed and has paid a total of $101,650 to 122 employees.

The investigation of Cimolai USA found that the company failed to pay two salaried non-exempt employees overtime compensation totaling $952 in violation of FLSA. An investigation of Cosme found 16 workers were owed $34,077. They were paid less than DBA prevailing wage rates, and at time and one-quarter for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, instead of time and one-half as required by the CWHSSA. Back wages owed by both subcontractors have been paid in full.

Under the CWHSSA, employees working on federal contracts must receive time and one-half their regular rates of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek and receive the mandatory health and welfare benefits they are entitled to receive. Under the DBA, employers are required to pay a minimum hourly wage plus an additional amount in health and welfare benefits that is stipulated in the work contract. Generally, the employer is required to pay the health and welfare benefits for the first 40 hours worked by the employees in a week.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 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 must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the DBA, CWHSSA or FLSA, call the Department of Labor's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the Wage and Hour Division's Dallas District Office at 817-861-2150. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.