An electrical contractor doing work on a Marine Corps base in Honolulu must pay 38 electricians and technicians a total of more than $1.2 million in back wages and is barred from doing work for the federal government for three years after investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) determined that the company did not pay required prevailing wages to workers at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. The division also found the employer submitted falsified payrolls and told workers to provide false information to investigators.
Lighting Services was found in violation of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and, as a result, the company and owner Scott Wilks are excluded from obtaining federal contracts for three years.
“Businesses that benefit from federal dollars have a responsibility to play by the rules, and that includes paying employees legally required wages,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, in a department press release. “Having a federal contract is a privilege, not a right. And we will remain steadfast in our enforcement of laws that level the playing field for those employers who are doing the right thing.”
Investigators found that Lighting Services and Wilks committed multiple egregious violations, including instructing employees to misrepresent to investigators the type of work that they did; requiring employees to falsify time records; failing to list numerous workers on certified payroll records; and paying rates more than $20/hour below required wage rates.
The department's regional solicitor in San Francisco brought charges against the contractor, seeking payment of back wages and debarment from federal contracts. The department resolved the charges and obtained appropriate remedies through consent findings approved by an administrative law judge last month, the WHD release said.
“An employer cannot reduce its labor costs by underpaying workers the required wage standards in a federally funded construction contract,” said Terence Trotter, the division's district director in Hawaii. “Just as standards of quality must be met on completed electrical work, employers must also adhere to federal standards that safeguard the electricians' pay and working conditions.”
Additional reading: Pacific Business News: Honolulu electrical contractor to pay $1.2M in back wages to Kaneohe Marine base workers