News Release

Mississippi-based contractor pays $52K in back wages, fringe benefits to 45 laborers after US Department of Labor finds federal labor violations

Subcontractor working on a Nashville courthouse violated prevailing wage laws

GALLATIN, TN – A Mississippi-based plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor with 10 Southeast locations and nearly 75 years of experience has learned that federal contract wage violations can be costly.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Ivey Mechanical Co. LLC operating in Gallatin – working as a subcontractor on a federally funded project at the Nashville courthouse – violated the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act when they:

  • Misclassified plumbers as laborers and sheet metal workers as plumbers and, by doing so, the employer failed to pay the correct prevailing wage rates.
  • Failed to pay the correct fringe benefits when the company paid two employees as plumbers when they actually performed sheet metal work installing an underground duct.
  • Failed to pay the correct prevailing wage rates when they exceeded the allowable number of apprentices for the number of journeymen on the job.
  • Failed to pay the correct sick leave rate to apprentices.

The division recovered $52,377 in back wages for 45 employees.

“Contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal government projects must comply with all of the obligations specified in their contracts,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “The U.S. Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring employers pay these essential workers all the wages they earned, and welcomes employers with compliance questions to contact us.”

Since 1931, the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts has required contractors of federally funded projects to pay all laborers on site prevailing wage rates and benefits.

Since 1947, Ivey Mechanical Company LLC has operated in Kosciusko, Mississippi. The company employs more than 800 workers with locations in several states, including Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The General Services Administration awarded a contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. to provide design and construction services for a new courthouse in Nashville. Hensel Phelps then awarded the subcontract to Ivey Mechanical.

The Wage and Hour Division offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as toolkits, online videos, fact sheets and an online regulation library. For information about Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and other the laws enforced by the division, contact the agency at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

Wage and Hour Division
July 12, 2021
Release Number
Media Contact: Erika Ruthman
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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