Viking Village pool workers to get back pay

By Fatima Hussein | July 25, 2016

More than 20 pipefitters and bricklayers constructing the Viking Village Shared Facility Pool in Sharonville will recover a total of $147,000 in back wages and benefits following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Federal investigators found Kitchener, Ontario-based Gall Construction of America LTD, operating as Acapulco Pools, underpaid 21 workers up to $17 per hour in salary and benefits.

The company violated provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, which cover areas of prevailing wage laws and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, which govern wage rates for projects receiving federal funds, the labor department said.

In a news release, the department said it determined the company had classified the bricklayers and other workers as general laborers and failed to pay them prevailing wages, fringe benefits and overtime at the rate due for their job titles.

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WHD News Release: 07/11/2016

Release Number: 16-1439-CHI

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Pipefitters and bricklayers constructing the Viking Village Shared Facility Pool in Sharonville under a federal contract will recover a total of $147,000 in back wages and benefits following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Federal investigators found Gall Construction of America LTD underpaid the workers up to $17 per hour in salary and benefits, and violated provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, which govern wage rates for projects receiving federal funds. The company operates as Acapulco Pools.

The division determined the company classified 21 bricklayers and pipefitters as general labors and failed to pay prevailing wages, fringe benefits and overtime at the rate due for their job titles. Gall also failed to keep accurate time and payroll records for employees. To resolve these violations the company agreed to pay the workers the monies owed in back wages and benefits.

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NY contractor refuses to pay for safety ad campaign after manslaughter conviction

By Kim Slowey | July 14, 2016

Dive Brief:

  • A New York judge Wednesday ordered general contractor Harco Construction to pay for a safety ad campaign as part of its guilty sentence for an April 2015 trench-related worker death, but a Harco attorney said the company will not comply, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • A Harco attorney said the court-ordered, televised and printed English-Spanish public safety announcement campaign is a violation of the company’s First Amendment rights and would be equivalent to an admission of guilt.
  • Harco, which said it plans to appeal, was convicted last month of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of immigrant worker Carlos Moncayo, who was killed in a trench collapse on a Harco job site. If the company does not pay for the PSA campaign, it faces a maximum fine of $10,000.


Dive Insight:

The judge could have fined Harco $35,000 but instead chose the alternate sentence of the PSA campaign, DNAinfo reported. Harco attorney Ron Fischetti told the court that the company is innocent and that the blame for the accident should rest with Moncayo’s employer, Sky Materials Corp, which is set to go on trial as well for its part in the trench collapse.

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Litigation alleged prevailing wage, overtime violations

WHD News Release: 07/14/2016

Release Number: 16-1203-NEW

NEW YORK – Thirty-one workers employed on the federally funded cobblestone reconstruction project on Manhattan’s Peck Slip will receive $431,715 in back wages and interest following an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the workers did not receive the proper prevailing wages and fringe benefits required under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

Sam Schwartz Engineering, a first-tier subcontractor under prime contractor MFM Contracting Corp. employed the workers. Investigators found that the employees who worked as flaggers on the project were incorrectly classified. The division alleged that – between August 2011 and January 2014 – they were paid $15 to $25 per hour instead of the prevailing wage rate of $44.49 per hour. The investigation also found workers did not receive all the overtime they were due under CWHSSA when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, did not receive holiday pay and that they were not paid on a weekly basis, as required.

The department’s Office of the Solicitor filed an administrative proceeding in 2015 against MFM Contracting and Sam Schwartz Engineering. The case is now being resolved with a consent findings and order approved by the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. Under the order, workers from the Peck Slip project will receive $431,715 in unpaid wages.

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New laws toughen up penalties for labor law violations

Published Thursday, July 7th 2016

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –
Hawaii employers who fail to comply with state labor laws will face stricter penalties, under new measures signed into law July 1.

Gov. David Ige signed the laws, increasing the penalties violations of requirements for workers’ compensation insurance, temporary disability insurance and for breaking prevailing wage laws on public construction projects.

In Nov. 2015, an investigation by the Labor Department found dozens of contractors and subcontractors working at the Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa wing violated labor laws by not necessary taxes.

Furthermore, the department found a number of construction firms also failed to pay pre-paid health insurance and temporary disability insurance for their workers.

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NLRB Will Report Federal Contractors’ Labor Violations

July 6, 2016
By Lawrence E. Dubé

July 5 – The National Labor Relations Board is preparing to report alleged labor law violations by government contractors named by regional directors in unfair labor practice complaints, the agency disclosed in a memorandum to its field offices.

Associate General Counsel Anne Purcell wrote July 1 in Memorandum OM 16-23 that the NLRB will ask charged employers to provide information that could identify them as federal contractors.

When an employer is named in an unfair labor practice complaint, the NLRB will report the information to a federal database to comply with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order President Obama signed on July 31, 2014.

The executive order requires the NLRB and other agencies to assist contracting agencies and officials in assessing labor law violations by employers with government contracts valued at more than $500,000.

The NLRB won’t forward information to the database if an employer settles or resolves an unfair labor practice case before the issuance of a complaint.

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Massachusetts Senate passes wage theft bill

By Shira Schoenberg

On July 13, 2016

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday passed a controversial bill aimed at cracking down on wage theft.

“This is a matter of general fairness for the employees,” said State Sen. Sal

DiDomenico, D-Everett, the bill’s sponsor.

The bill, S.2416, passed by a 38-2 vote. The two dissenters were State Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, D-Arlington, and State Sen. Ryan Fattman, R-Webster.

The bill would make companies that contract with a subcontractor who withholds wages liable for those wages. The contractor could also be liable for fees and fines, if it knows or should have known about the wage theft.

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OSHA targets Philadelphia with new campaign after 5 fall incidents in 1 month

By Kim Slowey | July 14, 2016

Dive Brief:

  • In the wake of five fall-related incidents in a one-month period, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made a public plea for Philadelphia construction companies to take greater measures to prevent fall-related accidents, the agency said in a press release.
  • OSHA said the July 7 death of roofer Roy Chacon marked the fifth fall-related area accident since June 13.
  • In effort to combat these incidents, OSHA said it has joined forces with the City of Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspections and the Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health to implement the “Grassroots Injury-Illness Prevention” campaign, which will host several forums addressing the city’s safety issues and how to tackle them.


Dive Insight:

OSHA Philadelphia Area Office Director Nicholas DeJesse said that if the dead or injured workers’ employers would have provided adequate fall protection, the accidents could have been avoided.

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Philly’s new wage theft ordinance is now in effect

You can file complaints through city if employer doesn’t pay out

JULY 07, 2016

A new city ordinance gives employees working in the city of Philadelphia a tool to reclaim wages stolen by an employer.

The ordinance, signed into law by then-Mayor Michael Nutter in December 2015, went into effect on July 1.

The legislation was introduced by Councilman Bill Greenlee in an effort to curb the illegal practice in Philadelphia, where workers of color and those in the service industry are disproportionally affected, Al Dia News reported last year.

According to data, up to $32 million in wages is withheld from workers statewide every week, and about 93,000 instances of wage theft occur in that same time period in the Philadelphia metro area, according to the news outlet.

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D.C. Commits to $15 Minimum Wage by 2020

July 13, 2016


Mayor Muriel Bowser signed legislation on June 27 that had been unanimously approved by D.C. Council to raise D.C.’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. The minimum wage was increased to $11.50 on July 1 in accordance with a 2013 D.C. amendment, but the wage will rise faster from year to year because of the new Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.

The legislation also increases base-pay for tipped workers, though many advocates have argued in favor of one minimum wage for all. “We believe that D.C. should follow the model of more and more jurisdictions around the country,” testified DC Fiscal Policy Institute Senior Analyst Ilana Boivie at a May hearing about the bill, “to eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers altogether, to address the severe income stability and other challenges these workers face.” District employers are responsible for making up the difference if their employees’ tips do not add up to at least minimum wage.

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