U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Alabama Contractor Paying $82,515 for Wage and Benefit Violations
PANAMA CITY, FL – Marathon Electrical Contractors Inc. – based in Irondale, Alabama – has paid $82,515 in back wages and fringe benefits to 17 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined that Marathon Electrical Contractors Inc. failed to pay some employees required prevailing wage and overtime rates on a project subject to DBRA requirements. The employer inaccurately classified employees as laborers instead of electrician apprentices, and subsequently failed to pay them the correct percentage of the required journeyman wage.
The investigation also found Marathon Electrical Contractors Inc. violated DBRA fringe benefits requirements by claiming it had made contributions to 401(k) funds on behalf of its employees, and showing those contributions on the payroll, but never actually making those contributions. The employer further violated DBRA requirements when it claimed credit for vacation benefits that failed to meet the criteria required for such credit. Investigators also found that while the contractor prepared certified payroll records, as required, those records were inaccurate because they reflected the 401(k) contributions that were never made.
"The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring employees performing work for federal contractors are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kenneth Stripling, in Birmingham. "Our work in this area keeps the playing field level for all contractors. If employers have concerns or questions about their pay practices we encourage them to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance."
Marathon Electrical Contractors Inc. was contracted to renovate the clinic at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida – a project funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The DBRA requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay workers prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and as included in their contracts.
For more information about the FLSA, DBRA, CWHSSA, and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the Division's web site. The Division also offers a search tool which allows users to determine if you are owed back wages collected by the Division.