US Labor Department sues Little Rock, Arkansas, electrical contractor for failing to pay federal contract workers properly

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division

Release Number: 14-2243-DAL
January 7, 2015 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit with the Office of Administrative Law Judges against LRE Royal Electrical Contractors Inc. and its owner, George E. Smith, to recover $345,077 in back wages for 61 electrical workers. The action also seeks to prevent the company and Smith from obtaining federal contracts for three years.

The filing alleges Smith and his company, doing business as both LRE Electrical Contractors and LRE Electrical, violated the Davis-Bacon and Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Acts when they paid electrical workers less than the applicable prevailing wage rates and corresponding overtime wages for work performed as part of four government contracts.

The Wage and Hour Division’s Little Rock District Office found that LRE Electrical and Smith did not register electrical workers in approved apprenticeship programs, but classified and paid workers as apprentices. The company and Smith also failed to pay these workers wage rates included in the contracts, which are based on the work an employee actually performs.

“Government contracts specify clearly how pay and benefits must be determined. Employers are required to adhere to these rules and pay workers correctly,” said Cynthia Watson, Wage and Hour administrator in the Southwest. “Contractors know these obligations when they bid on government contracts, and when the contracts are awarded.”

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