Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: March 3, 2015
Contact: Jose A Carnevali or Leo Kay
Phone: 415-625-2631 or 415-625-2630
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 15-136-SAN
Drywall contractor owes ‘tapers’ more than $98K in back wages
PR Drywall of Hillsboro, Oregon, underpays 7 workers in wages and overtime
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Seven “tapers” working for PR Drywall LLC of Hillsboro will receive more than $98,000 in back wages after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found their employer failed to pay prevailing wages and overtime payments as they worked constructing the Tualatin Marquis Assisted Living Center. Built with federal financing assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the project and its contractors were subject to the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigated PR Drywall, a subcontractor on the Tualatin project. The agency determined that the tapers, also called drywall finishers, who prepare and press wet compound into joints, nail or screw holes in the drywall and then cover the wet material with tape, were paid below the prevailing wage rates required by the DBRA. The employees also worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek without being paid time and one-half, as required by law.
PR Drywall was found liable for $89,525 under the DBRA for prevailing wage violations, and $8,557 under the FLSA for overtime violations.
“Taxpayers have a right to expect federal contractors to understand their obligations and comply with the law,” said Thomas Silva, district director of the department’s Wage and Hour Division in Portland. “When PR Drywall or any other employer violates labor laws, they cheat their employees and gain an unfair advantage over competing employers who obey the law.”
The DBRA applies to contractors and subcontractors performing federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings or public works. DBRA contractors and subcontractors must pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.
The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. Covered, nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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