Two Florida Electrical Contractors Pay $175,413 in Back Wages and Benefits After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Federal Contract Violations
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), J & Brothers Electrical Corp. and Southern Integrated Systems LLC – two Florida-based residential and commercial electrical contractors, working on a federally funded project – have paid $175,413 in back wages and fringe benefits to 46 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Davis Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA). In addition, WHD debarred Southern Integrated Systems LLC from bidding on federal contracts for three years.
Investigators determined that Southern Integrated Systems LLC failed to pay electricians overtime for hours they worked over 40 in a workweek. The Tampa, Florida, contractor also submitted falsified certified payroll records that failed to report accurately all the hours employees worked on the project. Although the employees worked overtime every workweek, the certified payroll did not reflect those hours.
WHD also determined that J & Brothers Electrical Corp. failed to pay electricians at the required prevailing wage rate based on the duties they performed. In addition, the West Palm Beach, Florida, contractor paid employees at the straight time rates for all the hours they worked, resulting in overtime violations of the CWHSSA and the FLSA when the employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Investigators also found the weekly payroll records kept by J & Brothers Electrical showed overtime hours paid at time-and-a-half, despite the employer’s admission that they paid their workers at straight-time rates for all the hours that they worked. In addition, while some employees worked on separate, non-federally funded projects, J & Brothers Electrical failed to record hours spent at each worksite, leading to an inability to pay the correct prevailing wage rates accurately to the employees for the hours they worked on federal projects.
“All contractors and sub-contractors must ensure they are thoroughly aware of all requirements associated with performing work on federally funded projects,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Tony Pham, in Miami. “Failing to pay employees the wages they have rightfully earned under federal law shorts the workers and undercuts other employers competing for federal contracts. We encourage all employers to contact us for guidance to avoid violations and ensure workers receive the wages they have earned.”
Southern Integrated Systems LLC subcontracted J & Brothers Electrical Corp. to perform work on the Royal Palm Place Apartments in West Palm Beach, funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 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 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.