U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Mississippi Subcontractor Violated Federal Contract Requirements at Veterans Affairs Work Site
BILOXI, MS – Doleac Electrical Co. Inc. – based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi – has paid $37,060 in back wages to 32 employees to remedy Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Davis Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) violations found by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a contract to Roy Anderson Corp., which then subcontracted Doleac Electrical Co. Inc. to perform work on a project at the VA Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The WHD investigation found that Doleac Electrical Co. Inc. exceeded the permissible ratio of apprentices to journeymen on the job, resulting in apprentices being due the journeyman rate. The DBRA requirements allow employers to pay apprentices lower rates than journeymen employees, but requires a specific ratio of those worker categories to be maintained on the jobsite. The employer also failed to pay the required overtime rate to electrician apprentices who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
WHD found Doleac Electrical Co. Inc. paid some overtime-eligible employees straight time for travel time that should have been paid at overtime rates. The employer paid overtime employees only for hours worked at the jobsite, and did not include travel time when determining when overtime was due. The employer also failed to include Family and Medical Leave Act information in their employment handbook or new-hire packet.
"Employers are obligated to pay their employees the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall, in Jackson, Mississippi. "The outcome of this investigation is a reminder for all employers to review their pay practices to confirm they comply with federal law. The U.S. Department of Labor offers employers a wide variety of tools and free prevailing wage seminars to help them understand their responsibilities."
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 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 that allows users to determine if they are owed back wages collected by the Division.
WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.