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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [12/07/2010]
Contact Name: John M. Chavez
Phone Number: (607) 565-2075
Release Number: 10-1490-NEW

US Labor Department recovers nearly $339,000 in back wages and debars electrical subcontractor for work on New York City publicly-funded housing projects

NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered nearly $339,000 in back wages for 27 workers employed as electrical mechanics by Sant-Tec Electric Inc., a company incorporated in both New York and New Jersey.

An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division revealed that the company and its officials had violated wage and benefit requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act on three federally-funded housing construction projects in New York City.

In addition to paying the back wages, Sant-Tec Electric, President Manuel Montesino and Human Resources Manager Olga Pena will be debarred from working on future federally-funded contracts for a period of three years.

"Workers employed on federally-funded projects must be paid proper wages and fringe benefits," said Maria Rosado, the New York district director for the Wage and Hour Division. "Contractors and subcontractors working on such projects should know that the Labor Department will pursue them if they don’t pay their employees properly under the law."

The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s New York City District Office determined that Sant-Tec failed to pay the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to some of its employees, failed to pay some of its employees for all hours worked, failed to pay its employees overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week and submitted certified payroll records that did not accurately reflect all the hours worked by employees on the project.

Sant-Tec was a subcontractor to Lettire Construction Corp., which itself was a subcontractor on three contracts awarded by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the following housing projects: The Claremont Project, 1421 College Ave., Bronx, N.Y. — prime contractor Claremont Park Associates LP; Fortune Society Project, W. 140 St., New York, N.Y. — prime contractor 625 W. 140 St. LP c/o Fortune W. 140 St. GP Inc.; and the Metro North Project, 306-324 E. 100 St., New York, N.Y. — prime contractor Hobbs Ciena Associates LP and Hobbs Ciena Housing Development Fund Corp.

The Metro North Project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first two projects were subject to the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1994. This law incorporates the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires the payment of prevailing wages and benefits to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and certain federally-funded projects. The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, covering all three projects, requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers and mechanics on the projects one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

For more information on the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts 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/.