U.S. Department of Labor Recovers $2,772,977 For 6,450 Disaster Recovery Workers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), WSP USA Services Inc. - based in Winchester, Virginia, and doing business as WSP USA Inspection Services, Inc. - has paid $2,772,977 in back wages to 6,450 employees for violating the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), WSP USA Services Inc. performed disaster-related housing inspections in U.S. territories and states – including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California – following hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Investigations by WHD's Caribbean and New York City District Offices found the contracting agency's failure to amend the contract at renewal to include the most recent wage determination led WSP USA Services Inc. to underpay SCA-required prevailing wages and fringe benefits to employees. The employer also failed to post the wage determination, which lists the required pay rates for each category of work performed, and the SCA poster, as required. The FLSA violations stemmed in part from WSP USA's failure to include bonuses in employees' regular pay rates when determining their overtime rates. This exclusion resulted in the employer paying overtime at rates lower than those required by law.
"Contractors that bid on government contracts must exercise due diligence and be aware of - and pay - the required rates and benefits to their employees," said Wage and Hour Division Northeast Deputy Regional Administrator Maria Rosado. "All federal contracting agencies advertising for bids and awarding contracts are required to include the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act labor standards and a current wage determination stating the minimum wages to be paid various classes of service employees. Our enforcement of these requirements help to level the playing field for all contractors doing business with the government."
The U.S. Department of Labor provides tools to help employers understand and comply with the labor requirements on government contracts. For more information about the SCA, FLSA, 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 https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.
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