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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 13-1714-CHI

Date: 

Sept. 25, 2013

Contact: 

Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

Phone: 

(312) 353-6976

Tri-County Building LLC pays workers on Detroit projects more than $130,000 in back wages following US Labor Department investigation

Company failed to pay federal prevailing wage to workers on four area projects

DETROIT -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered $132,551 in back wages for 27 laborers and mechanics of Detroit-based Tri-County Building LLC, who were not paid federal prevailing wage rates, and one manager who was misclassified as exempt from overtime. These employees were working on four U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development projects. An investigation by the division found violations of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Detroit district investigators found that some workers did not receive mandatory fringe benefits; the company failed to maintain accurate records of all employees performing work at various job sites; and it omitted some workers from certified payroll records—all violations of the DBRA. The manager misclassified as an exempt employee was not paid an overtime premium after 40 hours of work in a week, and the company failed to keep time and payroll records, as required by the FLSA.

“Some of these workers were paid significantly lower than the required wage rates and benefits. Not only does this practice undercut what is legally owed to the workers involved, it results in unfair competition for all firms interested in working on these HUD jobs,” said Timolin Mitchell, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Detroit District Office. “Enforcement of the prevailing wage laws evens the playing field for all contractors and ensures employees earn a fair wage when working on federally funded contracts.”

Tri-County Building LLC was subcontracted to perform drywall hanging, taping and finishing work at Cornerstone Estates, Gardenview Homes, Renaissance Village/Evergreen Estates and 8900 Gratiot, all housing projects in Detroit. Since the completion of the investigation, all back wages have been paid. The company has agreed to comply with all FLSA and DBRA provisions in the future.

The Davis-Bacon Act 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 secretary of labor. On a Davis-Bacon Act project, the prime contractor is responsible for the compliance of subcontractors and lower-tier subcontractors.

The FLSA, adopted in 1938, requires that covered, nonexempt employees are paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the Davis-Bacon Act, the FLSA and other federal laws, contact the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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