News Release

US Department of Labor recovers $91K in back wages for 79 workers at Kellogg Superfund site

Federal contractor failed to ensure subcontractors paid workers required wages

KELLOGG, ID – Subcontractors on a federally funded Superfund project in Kellogg failed to pay workers all the wages they earned, until a U.S. Department of Labor investigation recovered $91,116 in back wages and benefits for 79 employees.  

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found subcontractors working for Wood Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions violated the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, the Copeland Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act while working on the central treatment plant upgrade and groundwater collection project at the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted Wood Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions for the Bunker Hill project. Investigators found that the company failed to ensure its subcontractors performing most of the work paid employees the federally mandated prevailing wages and fringe benefits the contract required. The project’s subcontractors wrongly classified employees for the work they performed, improperly calculated or credited fringe benefits, violated required ratios of journeymen to apprentices, failed to pay for all the hours employees worked, used the wrong wage determination and failed to reimburse workers for travel and lodging expenses.

Enforcement of the prevailing wage laws levels the playing field for all contractors and protects the wages of hard-working, middle-class American workers,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez in San Francisco. “Prime contractors are responsible for the compliance of their subcontractors. The Wage and Hour Division will remain vigilant in its enforcement to ensure contractors pay employees in accordance with prevailing wage laws. Failure to comply could result in contractors becoming ineligible to bid on future federal contracts.”

Following the investigations, Wood Environmental agreed to a nationwide review of all of its current subcontractors to ensure compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, and to report the findings to the Wage and Hour Division. The prime contractor also discussed plans to monitor its subcontractors in the future to prevent violations like those found in this case, including providing additional training, conducting detailed analysis of certified payroll and speaking with employees.

Headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, Wood Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions employs more than 55,000 workers worldwide.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
April 19, 2021
Release Number
21-597-SAN
Contact: Jose Carnevali
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