Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: July 31, 2014
Contact: Scott Allen Rhonda Burke
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 14-1132-CHI
US Labor Department finds $616,187 in unpaid wages due to 52 workers hired to transport veterans to Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical centers
MARION, Ill. -- An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has determined that Topeka, Kansas-based Assisted Transportation Inc. failed to pay $616,187 in prevailing wages, fringe benefits and overtime to 52 employees, in violation of the Service Contract Act and Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. The employees provided wheelchair van services to veterans, transporting them between their homes and the Marion and Evansville, Indiana, VA Medical Centers.
“Assisted Transportation received government funding to provide services for our nation’s veterans. It has a legal and moral obligation to abide by the rules of the signed contract that requires proper pay to employees for work performed,” said Norma Cervi, the Wage and Hour Division’s director in St. Louis. “Government contracts include specific requirements regarding pay and benefits. Contractors are aware of these 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 department has filed an administrative complaint with the Office of Administrative Law Judges seeking the back wages due.
Investigators from the division’s St. Louis District Office found that 51 shuttle bus drivers were misclassified as taxi cab drivers and were generally due an additional $3 to $5 per hour. In addition, the company allegedly only paid drivers the prevailing wage when a veteran was in the vehicle. All other time, such as wait time and time spent completing maintenance and paperwork, was considered noncontract time and paid at a lower hourly rate. These practices created fringe benefit violations. Additionally, Assisted Transportation failed to include health and welfare benefits with driver’s holiday pay. One employee was misclassified as a travel clerk when he performed the work of a motor vehicle dispatcher.
The company violated the overtime provisions of the CWHSSA by failing to classify the drivers properly under the SCA and pay legally required overtime at time and one-half the employees’ correct rates for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additional information on labor provisions and enforcement of government contracts is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/.
Assisted Transportation, which operates facilities in Marion and Evansville, is a subcontractor of Logistic Services LLC, based in Topeka, Kansas.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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