Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Kentucky Plumbing Contractor Paying $73,470 in Back Wages
ERLANGER, KY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Erlanger-based plumbing contractor D&B Plumbing has paid $73,470 in back wages, overtime, and fringe benefits to eight employees. Investigators determined the company violated labor provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).
D&B Plumbing worked as a sub-contractor on a senior housing project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The DBRA requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally-funded projects to pay laborers and mechanics, including plumbers, the proper prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the Secretary of Labor.
The Department’s investigation revealed D&B Plumbing, doing business as Signature Plumbing, misclassified employees doing the work of plumbers as laborers. The employer then paid these employees the rate applicable to laborers, which is less than the rate required for plumbers, creating the prevailing rate and fringe benefit violation. Additionally, the contractor miscalculated overtime due to workers who worked in more than one capacity and at different rates of pay for those roles. Instead of basing overtime on either the weighted average of those rates or on the rate in effect when the overtime hours were worked, the employer based their overtime calculation on the lowest hourly rate earned by the employee.
“No contractor should gain an economic advantage by paying workers below the wages and fringe benefits required on a prevailing wage project,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett, in Louisville. “Not only does this practice undercut what the workers involved are legally owed for their work, it results in unfair competition for contractors who play by the rules.”
For more information about the DBRA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.