US Department of Labor recovers $140K in back wages, liquidated damages after investigators find Washington contractor underpaid workers
SEATTLE – An ongoing federal initiative to investigate pay practices of residential builders in Washington State found that a Lacey contractor recklessly failed to pay workers overtime for hours they worked over 40 in a workweek in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Norpac Financial LLC – operating as Northern Pacific Exterior – paid 39 workers straight-time rates for all hours worked without additional half-time for the overtime hours in excess of 40 per week as required. The employer also failed to produce complete and accurate records for investigators, in violation of federal recordkeeping provisions.
The investigation led to the recovery of $69,963 in overtime back wages plus an additional $69,963 in liquidated damages for the affected employees. In addition, the division assessed $7,050 in civil money penalties due to the reckless nature of Northern Pacific’s violations.
“Hard working employees have the right to be paid all of the wages they’ve legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “The U.S. Department of Labor found that Northern Pacific Exterior shortchanged dozens of workers of wages on which they depend to care for themselves and their families. We urge all employers to use the many tools we offer to help them understand the law and avoid costly penalties and damages.”
The division’s Residential Construction Initiative identifies wage violations in the construction industry and recovers wages owed to workers. Since 2019, the division has conducted 9,147 investigations in the construction industry, recovering more than $119 million in unpaid wages for more than 84,000 workers nationwide. Currently, more than $1.9M in back wages recovered by the division remain unclaimed in Washington. In some cases, employers failed to keep accurate records of employee addresses, and in others, former workers relocated and left no contact information.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws the division enforces, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Workers can speak with us confidentially, in more than 200 languages. 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.