News Release

US Department of Labor recovers $783,616 in wages, fringe benefits for 14 contract workers, their union at Jamaica federal building

Settlement with Hawaii-based maintenance contractor includes enhanced compliance terms

NEW YORK – For several years, workers for a building services contractor maintained HVAC services, electrical and lighting systems, elevators, fire safety equipment and internal mail distribution at a federal office building in Jamaica, Queens, under a federal contract with the Social Security Administration. The contract was worth $3.4 million in its final year.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division review of the contract found Dellew Corp. failed to pay 14 workers their prevailing wages for the jobs they performed at the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building and did not pay proper fringe benefits to the International Union of Operating Engineers Union Local 30, per a collective bargaining agreement. By doing so, the Waipahu, Hawaii-based employer violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act.

To resolve the matter, the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges approved consent findings and ordered Dellew Corp. and owners Druscilla Lewis and Kelsey Lewis to comply with the terms of an enhanced five-year compliance agreement intended to ensure future compliance with the Service Contract Act and prevent future violations. The department’s Office of the Solicitor negotiated release of $783,616 withheld on the contract prior to litigation.

Specifically, the Wage and Hour Division determined that the contractor failed to pay the employees $47,705 in prevailing wages and $1,102,288 in required health and welfare fringe benefits. The Wage and Hour Division credited Dellew for $366,377 in payments made during its investigation and requested that the Social Security Administration withhold $783,616 in contract payments to cover the balance.

The Consent Findings and Order requires the employers to hire an independent monitor, knowledgeable of the Service Contract Act and its requirements, whose duties include:

  • Conducting regular compliance reviews and training.
  • Reviewing wage determinations and time and payroll records.
  • Setting up a confidential hotline for employees to report noncompliance.
  • Investigating allegations of noncompliance.
  • Providing twice-yearly compliance certification to the Wage and Hour Division.

“Enforcement of prevailing wage laws protects the wages of hard-working, middle-class workers in America. Violations of the Service Contract Act and other federal wage laws are preventable if employers and employees know and understand their responsibilities and rights under the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jorge Alvarez in New York. “We encourage them to contact the Wage and Hour Division to learn more.”

“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring employees are paid the wages they have rightfully earned and Federal contractors comply with the law. When employers fail to do so, we will pursue appropriate legal means on behalf of the workers and the law,” said regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff.

The Wage and Hour Division’s New York City District Office conducted the original investigation. Trial Attorney Megan J. Harris of the New York regional Office of the Solicitor litigated the case for the department.

Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

For more information about the SCA, 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.

IMO Dellew Corporation, Kelsey Lewis, and Druscilla Lewis.  OALJ Docket No. 2021-SCA-00008

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
October 25, 2021
Release Number
21-1749-NEW
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Contact: James C. Lally
Phone Number
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