Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Demolition Company Operators for Scheme to Underpay Employees by More Than $650,000 in Violation of Federal Prevailing Wage Law

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rose Gill Hearn, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), Robert Panella, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations (“DOL-OIG”), and Vanessa Jones-Allen, the Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Area Office of Criminal Enforcement for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced the filing of a four-count criminal Complaint charging JOVER NARANJO, the owner and president of Enviro & Demo Masters, Inc. (“Enviro”), and his father, LUPERIO NARANJO, SR., a foreman for Enviro, for allegedly perpetrating a scheme to underpay employees in violation of the federal prevailing wage law.

DOL-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Panella said: “Today’s charges are the result of our commitment to investigate those who would allegedly falsify payroll records to avoid paying their workers the required prevailing wage. The Office of Inspector General will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to this end.”

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Michigan Road Funding: Democrats Eye Prevailing Wage Guarantee, Seek Education Compromise

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who is pushing for $1.2 billion a year in new funding for Michigan’s crumbling roads, will need Democratic support if he hopes to win legislative approval for his budget proposal or others.

“The plans that have been out there will require some bipartisanship,” Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, said Wednesday. “There are not enough Republican votes or Democratic votes where any party can do it alone. That’s just the way it is.

Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly

Just how cheap is the cheap labor in Texas? Sometimes, it’s free. Guillermo Perez, 41, is undocumented and has been working commercial construction jobs in Austin for 13 years.

“[The employer] said he didn’t have the money to pay me and he owed me $1,200,” Perez says of one job. “I told him that I’m going to the Texas Workforce Commission, which I did. Then after that, he came back two weeks later and paid me.”

$137,000 in Back Wages Recovered for 31 Employees on Ohio Project Following USDOL Investigation

BBC Foundation & Flatwork LLC has paid $137,705 in back wages to 31 employees of the Carleton concrete company for performing work on a federal transit project in Toledo.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the contractor violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

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USDOL Issues New Guidelines For Conformance Procedures Under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts

All Agency Memorandum #213 sets forth new standards for the implementation of the Davis-Bacon Act “conformance” procedure. The conformance process has the limited purpose of establishing a new classification when it is necessary to do so because work needed to perform the contract is not performed by an existing classification on the wage determination. The regulations require that wage rates for additional classifications, when “conformed” to an existing wage determination, bear a “reasonable relationship” to the wage rates in that wage determination.

The new policy states that   ” [i]n keeping with the remedial purpose of the [Davis Bacon and Related Acts] and the governing regulations, the wage rate of the lowest skilled craft, laborer, power equipment operator, or truck driver classification on the contract wage determination” will “no longer” be the “automatic benchmark when reviewing conformance requests. ”

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In conjunction with the AAM #213, DOL’s Wage & Hour Division has a new website with the new policy directives on it.  Below are a few of the new policies and pages.

(Wage and Hour Highlights)

(Construction Surveys)

(FAQ’s – Conformance’s)

Seven Contractors Fined for Prevailing Wage Violations

The Labor Commission reported that the prime contractor, Valley Vanguard, is jointly and severally liable for all assessments issued against the six subcontractors.

“Valley Vanguard, as the prime contractor for the highway expansion project, is responsible for ensuring that all workers performing construction work on a public works project are paid the correct prevailing wage rates,” Su said.