US Department of Labor recovers $39K in back wages, damages for 19 workers under federal contract at FAA facility in Pensacola
PENSACOLA, FL – A commercial cleaning contractor shortchanged 19 workers at a Federal Aviation Administration worksite in Pensacola by failing to combine hours worked at different job sites and not paying prevailing wages and benefits required on federally funded contracts, the U.S. Department of Labor has found.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Cole Industries Inc. – doing business as Service Master Professional Cleaning Service in Pensacola – violated the Fair Standards Labor Act by paying certain workers an hourly rate for hours worked on one job, then paying a flat rate regardless of the number of hours worked on a second job. By doing so, the employer failed to combine the hours from both jobs to determine the total number of hours worked and failed to pay the workers time-and-a-half the proper rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, which led to overtime violations.
The employer also violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act when they failed to pay employees the required prevailing wages and health and welfare benefits for work performed under a federal contract. The division also found Service Master violated the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act when they paid one worker a flat rate when they should have paid them an overtime rate for hours worked on the contract.
The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $39,806 in back wages and liquidated damages to 19 employees.
“Contractors and sub-contractors who hire workers to perform work on projects funded by federal contracts must follow specific laws when paying those workers,” said Wage and Hour District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “When employers fail to pay proper prevailing wages on government contracts or don’t pay overtime as required, they violate the law, shortchange workers and gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers.”
The Wage and Hour Division will host Virtual Prevailing Wage Seminars on March 30, June 15 and September 14. Register to attend the seminars.
For more information about the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act or 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. 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.