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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

News Release

Federal contractor at March Air Reserve Base in southern California to pay more than $92K in back wages, fringe benefits to 27 workers

Christian Brothers Mechanical Services Inc. violated federal wage law

WEST COVINA, Calif. — Working on a federal contract is a privilege and not a right, and along with it comes the obligation to uphold federal laws and wage rules. Skirting the rules to save money will prove futile as far as the U.S. Department of Labor is concerned.

The department's Wage and Hour Division recently recovered $92,912 in unpaid wages and fringe benefits for 27 workers employed by Christian Brothers Mechanical Services Inc., a Mira Loma-based subcontractor. An investigation found that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning subcontractor violated the prevailing wage and fringe benefits requirements under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts while servicing two U.S. Army Corp of Engineers' contracts at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside between 2011 and 2014.

"In this competitive contracting environment, no business should gain an economic advantage by paying workers below the required wages and fringe benefits on a prevailing wage project," said Gayane Aleksanian, assistant district director for the Wage and Hour Division in West Covina. "Contractors must know their obligations when they bid for jobs and when contracts are awarded. Taxpayers have a right to expect that federal contractors, who are paid with tax dollars, will comply with the law."

The division found that Christian Brothers paid several journeymen at the lower laborer's rate for hours worked when the contractor owed the full rate. The company also failed to pay employees appropriate and timely fringe benefits.

The DBA requires that all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded construction projects pay their laborers and mechanics at least the prevailing wage rates associated with their occupation, as determined by the secretary of labor.

For more information about the DBRA and other federal laws, contact the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

WHD News Release: [06/10/2015]
Contact Name: Leo F. Kay or Jose Carnevali
Phone Number: (415) 625-2630 or x2631
Email: Kay.Leo.F@dol.gov or Carnevali.Jose@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-1115-SAN