Garcia Forest Service debarred from federal contracts for 3 years following US Labor Department investigation

MINNEAPOLIS — A U.S. Labor Department investigation has resulted in the debarment of Garcia Forest Service LLC, and its president, Samuel Garcia, from eligibility for further service contracts with any U.S. government agency for three years. The investigation found that the Rockingham, N.C.-based company violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act by failing to pay fringe benefits, minimum wage, overtime and holiday pay to workers hired for a reforestation project in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota. Administrative Law Judge Kenneth A. Krantz issued the debarment order in Newport News, Va. The consent findings were filed by the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in Chicago.

“Contractors that do business with the federal government have an obligation to abide by the law, pay their employees the required contractual rates and benefits, and keep accurate and complete required records,” said Laura A. Fortman, principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “The Service Contract Act requires debarment when violations are found unless the high standard of ‘unusual circumstances’ is met. Debarring this employer illustrates the department’s commitment to vigorous enforcement of government contracting laws and helps level the playing field for law-abiding employers.”

(Read More)

MSUM reimbursed ND contractors for prevailing wage errors

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State University Moorhead reimbursed West Fargo’s FM Contracting Inc. for nearly $69,000 after the company was told by a state agency it had not paid some workers in line with the state’s prevailing wage levels.

Jan Mahoney, MSUM’s vice president for finance and administration, said MSUM paid the difference in wages sought by the Department of Labor and Industry for 19 workers because of an architect’s error on bid documents sent out for the renovation of Dahl Hall.

“FM Contracting did everything OK,” Mahoney said Monday. “It was an oversight on the part of our architects.”

(Read More)

Minn. group calls for tightening fair pay standards

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Area firms underpaid 78 workers almost $118,000 for several Moorhead college and university projects going back to 2011, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry documents show.

The violations of the state’s wage and overtime laws are a sign that higher standards should be required of contractors to ensure fair pay and competition, said the leader of the Fair Contracting Foundation.

(Read More)