U.S. Department of Labor Debars Government Contractor For Failing to Pay Prevailing Wages
TAMPA, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has debarred Pro-Fit Development Inc. – a development, construction, and roofing contractor based in Tampa, Florida – after an investigation found the employer violated requirements of the Davis Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA). Debarment prohibits the employer from bidding on federally funded construction projects for three years.
WHD investigators determined that Pro-Fit Development Inc., as the prime contractor, failed to notify its subcontractors of their prevailing wage payment obligations in their contracts, and failed to provide them with wage determinations stating the specific prevailing wage rates employees must be paid. Failing to provide this information contributed to subcontractors classifying and paying employees in categories lower than those that corresponded to the work they actually performed. Subcontractors paid employees as general laborers when they actually performed more skilled labor as concrete finishers, masons, and carpenters, all of which require payment at higher rates. Pro-Fit Development Inc. and the subcontractors also failed to record and pay required rates to employees who worked in multiple positions for which different rates applied. These incorrect classifications resulted in the employers paying incorrect prevailing wage rates to the employees and subsequently incorrect overtime rates when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
After Pro-Fit Development Inc. refused to pay $4,715 in back wages found due to 11 employees, WHD requested the Tampa Housing Authority withhold funds due to the contractor under the contract. The funds will instead be transferred to pay the employees who are owed wages. Pro-Fit had also been found not to have paid required prevailing wage rates in a 2017 investigation.
"All contractors and subcontractors must ensure they are thoroughly aware of all requirements associated with performing work on federally funded projects," said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Schmidt, in Tampa, Florida. "We offer a wide variety of tools to help employers understand their responsibilities, including a series of Prevailing Wage Seminars, currently underway across the country, where we offer free training for all interested stakeholders."
Pro-Fit Development Inc. was awarded the contract to construct the Cedar Point Apartment Property Redevelopment project funded from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and managed by the Tampa Housing Authority. The DBRA requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay employees 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 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 they are owed back wages collected by the Division.