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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 14-645-NEW (wh 14-031)

Date: 

May 8, 2014

Contact: 

Leni Fortson or Joanna Hawkins

Phone: 

215-861-5102 or 215-861-5101

US Department of Labor investigation finds Bayonne, NJ, ship repair contractors owe $720,000 in back wages to workers


BAYONNE, N.J. -- Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corp. and Coastwide Material Supply Corp., based in Bayonne, paid $720,000 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages to the U.S. Department of Labor for distribution to 224 workers who worked for the firms at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne.

“The payment of back wages, damages and the potential for debarment reinforce the responsibility of government contractors to pay the proper wages to employees who work on public projects,” said John Warner, district director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Northern New Jersey District Office, which conducted the investigation. “These back wages will go far to help these workers, many of whom were displaced from jobs after Hurricane Sandy. The workers did what was expected of them and sought employment to provide for themselves and their families. They deserve proper payment for hard work.”

An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the companies violated the overtime provisions of the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act. Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair had a federal contract to repair and rehabilitate U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, and the company later engaged Coastwide Material Supply as a subcontractor on the contract. These firms share common ownership.

Investigators found the companies had full-time employees, considered crew leaders, who brought in temporary workers on an as-needed basis. The companies did not consider the temporary workers as employees, failed to keep accurate and complete records, and did not pay overtime, as required by law.

After the companies were told of the violations, the companies agreed to pay the back wages and damages and to comply with all applicable provisions of the act on all work performed as part of any contract covered by the act, whether as a prime or subcontractor.

The Wage and Hour Division is now dispersing back wages. Workers employed by this company from January 2011 through December 2012 are encouraged to contact the Northern New Jersey District Office at 908-317-8611 to determine if they are due back wages.

The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act establishes minimum wage, maximum hours and safety and health standards for work on contracts in excess of $10,000 for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles or equipment to the U.S. government or Washington, D.C.

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

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.