Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Labor Department recovers more than $164,000 in back wages for misclassified employees in Westhampton, NY
WESTBURY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $164,000 in back wages for 28 workers employed by three contractors working on a federally-funded contract to repair the engine shop and helicopter maintenance facility at Gabreski Air Base in Westhampton, N.Y.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division in Westbury determined that the respondents, including the prime contractor, AWL Industries Inc., as well as subcontractors AWL Sheet Metal Corp. and New York Environmental Systems Inc., had misclassified employees working on this project. Employees were not paid the proper prevailing wage rates or overtime pay required under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. Robert Pavlovich, the president of the three companies, also was cited for failing to pay employees for all hours worked and to maintain complete employment records.
“Workers on this project were found to be performing the work of carpenters, sheetmetal workers and other skilled trades, but were classified and paid as laborers in many instances,” said Irv Miljoner, director of the Wage and Hour Division district office on Long Island in New York. “Consequently, these workers were not being paid at the required prevailing wage rates for this federal contract work, nor were they being paid the correct fringe benefits required by law.”
The Labor Department informed Pavlovich of these alleged violations of federal law in January 2009. Through his attorneys, Pavlovich and the other respondents submitted a timely appeal of the department’s findings and requested a hearing before the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. During these proceedings, the Departments of the Army and the Air Force National Guard Bureau, as the contracting agency, withheld payment of funds on this contract.
The Labor Department and the respondents have now agreed to a settlement approved by the Office of Administrative Law Judges and contained in an order signed by Judge Stephen L. Purcell. The parties agree that the mechanics and laborers on this project will be paid a total of $164,415 in back wages. A total of $103,415 will go to 17 workers employed by New York Environmental Systems, $60,000 will be paid to nine workers employed by AWL Industries Inc., and two employees of AWL Sheet Metal will be paid $1,000 in back wages
“The resolution of this case should remind other federal contractors of their obligation to pay employees working on such contracts in accordance with federal law, since the Labor Department will not hesitate to pursue them if they don’t,” said Miljoner.
For more information on the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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