Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Labor Department recovers more than $100,000 in back wages for 90 construction workers
AMARILLO, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has resolved a lawsuit against Plains Builders Inc., along with its owners and officers, to pay $101,050 in back wages to 90 former construction workers following an investigation that found these workers were not properly paid as required by the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA).
“The Department of Labor is committed to vigorously enforcing the law to ensure that all workers are paid full wages and any overtime they have rightfully earned, including fringe benefits if they apply,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest.
An investigation determined that the Veterans Health Administration contracted with Plains Builders of Amarillo to build a veterans administration nursing facility in Amarillo. The subcontractor, Ronnie Ragland, doing business as Construction Services, misclassified carpenters as laborers and did not pay those workers the required wages, overtime and fringe benefits. Ragland claimed he was not able to pay back wages and ceased business operations, resulting in a complaint filed by the Labor Department with its Office of Administrative Law Judges against Plains Builders Inc. to recover unpaid back wages.
The DBRA applies to federally-funded and certain federally-assisted construction contracts in the United States. The act requires that every covered contract in excess of $2,000 contain a wage determination reflecting wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality, and contractors pay laborers and mechanics no less than that prevailing wage rate. The CWHSSA requires payment of overtime at one-and-one-half times the hourly wage rate to laborers and mechanics employed on covered contracts.
For more information about federal government contract laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Albuquerque District Office at 505-245-2142 or the Labor Department’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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