Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Brief

US Labor Department files suit to debar forest maintenance company from future federal contracts for repeatedly failing to pay workers

Date of Action: April 12, 2016

Type of Action: Lawsuit seeking debarment from future government contract awards

Name of Defendant: Carney W. Potter, doing business as Arrowhead Starr Co. and Carney W. Potter, individually, in Plainview, Arkansas. Arrowhead Starr is a forest maintenance contractor that provides reforestation services to the federal government.

Allegation: The U.S. Department of Labor sued Carney W. Potter, doing business as Arrowhead Starr Co. and Carney W. Potter individually, seeking to debar both from future government contract awards as the result of a long history of failing to pay workers the wages they were legally due. The latest violations disclosed by the department’s Wage and Hour Division occurred when the employer violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act by failing to pay 14 employees more than $10,000 in legally required fringe benefits, including  vacation and holiday pay. The employer’s history of violations began in 2001; since 2008, the Wage and Hour Division has collected more than $130,000 in back wages paid to more than 70 workers.

Quote: “Reforestation is hard and dangerous work often performed in remote worksites. Many of these workers have little knowledge of their rights under the law, and depend on their employer to pay them what is legally required,” said Betty Campbell, the division’s Southwest regional administrator. “Contractors bid on government-funded contracts knowing their responsibilities. Failing to pay employees all their wages and benefits for the work they performed is unacceptable. This case should serve as a warning to other contractors performing work on government contracts – the Wage and Hour Division will use every tool available – including debarment, to protect workers and hold employers accountable.”

Resolution: The division’s most recent investigation recovered approximately $10,090 in SCA back wages for 14 employees. The department also seeks to declare Carney W. Potter individually and doing business as Arrowhead Starr Co., ineligible to receive any further federal contacts for a period of three years.

Information: Debarment is an important and effective tool the department uses to ensure that employers pay workers as the law requires, and that the federal government is doing business with responsible contractors. Employers who fail to comply with the law risk debarment and face losing the ability to do business with the federal government. For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at

Court: Office of Administrative Law Judges

Docket Number: 2016-SCA-00009

Wage and Hour Division
April 18, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez