DOL docks federal funding to pay contractor’s back wages

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will deduct unpaid wages and benefits from future government payments to Lettire Construction Corp. to settle violations of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, as well as the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

The company and its owner were held liable for the violations and those of subcontractors on affordable housing programs in East Harlem, initiated as part of the American Recov­ery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The laws require federal contractors to pay prevailing wages for work performed on those contracts. Workers who work more than 40 hours per week must be paid overtime on federally funded contracts as well.

A DOL investigation, which in­­cluded work-site surveillance, revealed that Lettire and its subcontractors failed to properly pay workers who worked more than 60 hours per week. Other violations included contractors failing to pay required prevailing wages and overtime, providing inaccurate or falsified payroll records to the government, failing to keep accurate records of hours employees worked and im­­properly classifying employees who performed work on the projects, resulting in the underpayment of wages and fringe benefits.

The DOL withheld government funding of the construction project to pay the back wages.