Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
CACHE, Okla. -- HDR Environmental Operations and Construction Inc., doing business as HDR EOC Inc., has agreed to pay $37,134 in back wages to seven current and former bomb disposal technicians, heavy equipment operators and mechanics following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which found prevailing wage violations of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act at its work site at the Fort Sill Army Reservation near Cache.
The investigation was conducted under a multiyear enforcement initiative focused on strengthening labor law compliance among Oklahoma’s major military installations, including Fort Still Army Base, Altus Air Force Base, Vance Air Force Base and Tinker Air Force Base. Since fiscal year 2011, the division’s Oklahoma District Office conducted more than 170 investigations of employers working on government contracts within its jurisdiction, resulting in more than $930,000 in back wages for more than 700 employees.
“Government is a major employer in Oklahoma. This state is home to six major U.S. military installations and, through the effort of our ongoing initiative, we will see to it that workers employed on these public service or works projects are paid proper prevailing wages and benefits,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Prevailing wage standards provide a safety net of fair wages to workers, their families and communities, and enable local contractors and subcontractors to compete on a level playing field.”
The investigation by the division’s Oklahoma City District Office found that employees were paid less than the prevailing wage rates required for their specified job classifications under the terms of the federally funded contract. The employer also failed to post the prevailing wage determination at the work site for employees to review, in violation of the SCA.
HDR EOC Inc. specializes in environmental operational services and has completed four contracts with the U.S. Air Force at the Falcon Bombing Range located at the Fort Sill Army Reservation near Cache. Following the investigation, the employer agreed to pay all back wages due to the affected employees and committed to ensure that employees are correctly classified in the future and paid proper prevailing wages, as required by the SCA.
The Wage and Hour Division will continue to conduct investigations and provide compliance assistance to contractors and subcontractors providing services to major military installations throughout Oklahoma. The division is committed to ensuring labor law compliance on federally funded construction and service projects. For more information about the initiative, see the division’s May 15, 2012, press release at, http://www.dol.gov/whd/media/press/whdpressVB3.asp?pressdoc=Southwest/20120515.xml.
In addition to Oklahoma, the division is conducting similar enforcement initiatives in Albuquerque, N.M.; Houston; New Orleans, La.; and Salt Lake City.
The SCA requires that contractors and subcontractors performing services on covered federal contracts in excess of $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality, or rates contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement.
For more information about the SCA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Oklahoma City office at 405-231-4158. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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