Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
SAN ANTONIO -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit to recover $510,991 in back wages and fringe benefits owed to 231 current and former security guards employed by Metropolitan Security Systems Inc., doing business as Walden Security, and company officer Curtis Hoosier for violations of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. The suit also asks the court to debar both defendants from obtaining government contracts for a three-year period.
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Walden Security was awarded a contract by U.S. Army Installation Management Command Headquarters to provide armed security guard services at access control points at the Fort Sam Houston military base in San Antonio. This federally funded contract is subject to the SCA and CWHSSA.
“The terms of federally funded contracts are clear and well-established as laid out in the bidding process and upon award of the contract,” said Cynthia Watson, Southwest regional administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. “These dedicated security guards worked long hours ensuring the protection of military personnel and their assets at Fort Sam Houston, and they deserve to be paid their rightful wages. As demonstrated by the filing of this lawsuit against Walden Security and its officer, the department will use all enforcement tools available, including debarment proceedings, to recover back wages and ensure accountability under the law.”
The suit was filed with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges and stems from an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s San Antonio District Office, which found that Walden Security violated the SCA and CWHSSA by failing to pay security guard employees the proper prevailing wage rates and overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Investigators also determined that lunch breaks were deducted from the guards’ hours worked even though they were not relieved from duty during that time.
Under the SCA, contractors and subcontractors performing 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 the basic rate of pay for all hours over 40 worked 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 San Antonio office at 210-308-4515. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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