News Release

Lubbock, Texas Contractor Pays $115,113 in Back Wages to 20 Employees After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation at Veterans Affairs’ Project

LUBBOCK, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Armstrong Mechanical Inc. – based in Lubbock, Texas – has paid $115,113 in back wages to 20 employees for violating the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA).

WHD investigators determined that Armstrong Mechanical Inc. – doing business as Armstrong Plumbing Heating and Air – failed to pay required prevailing wages, fringe benefits and overtime to subcontractors working at a Veterans Affairs outpatient facility in Lubbock, Texas. The employer wrongly classified the plumbers as apprentices and, in doing so, paid them less than the journeyman rate they were owed. The company also failed to provide required fringe benefits to employees performing heating, ventilation and air conditioning; sheet metal, duct and plumbing work.

“Prevailing wage laws level the playing field for employers doing business with the federal government. Contractors and sub-contractors must ensure they are thoroughly aware of all requirements associated with this work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Evelyn Sanchez, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “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.”

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 DBRA, CWHSSA, FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd including a search tool for workers who may be 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 paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, 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.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
October 22, 2020
Release Number
20-1819-DAL
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
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