U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Aeronautical Federal Contractor Paying $951,456 to 1,109 Employees Nationwide
POWAY, CA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. – a Poway, California-based federal contactor providing aircraft systems and services to the U.S. Army – will pay $951,456 to 1,109 employees nationwide for violating the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA).
WHD investigators determined General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. violated the SCA when the employer failed to pay prevailing wages and required health and welfare benefits to employees performing services under two contracts with the U.S. Army. The employer paid aircraft mechanics, engineering technicians, and others hourly rates below those required, and failed to ensure that some workers received at least the equivalent of the hourly fringe benefit amount required under the SCA. The investigation focused originally on aircraft mechanics working in Adelanto, California, but expanded to all positions nationwide that provided services on either contract.
"Employers doing business with the federal government must ensure that they understand and abide by all applicable laws, and must ensure that employees receive legally required pay and benefits," said Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton. "Enforcement of these requirements ensures a level playing field for contractors across the country, as well as for workers."
"We urge contractors to call the U.S. Department of Labor for assistance, and to use the tools we provide to help them comply with the law," said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel Pasquil, in West Covina, California. "Violations like those in this case can be avoided."
The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates, including prospective increases, contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement.
For more information about the SCA, and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.
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, 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.