Thursday, June 24, 2010

US Department of Labor Recovers $4.2 Million in Back Wages for 603 Oregon Workers

SEATTLE — An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has resulted in the payment of more than $4.2 million in back wages owed to 603 employees of EG&G Technical Services, based in Hermiston, Ore., for work at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Umatilla, Ore.

The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division's District Office in Portland, Ore. determined the 603 employees involved in maintenance, munitions, DSA tender, operations, control room, and warehouse work were underpaid for their time in the workplace. In some instances, workers were not relieved for their lunch time, resulting in inappropriate pay deductions for lunch breaks that could not be taken. The pay deficiencies are a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other federal labor laws. Civil money penalties have been assessed for the violations.

A related investigation turned up violations at a separate plant in Arkansas operated by EG&G Technical Services. That investigation resulted in payment of $1.6 million in back wages for 404 employees there.

Under the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, contractors and subcontractors performing on federal service contracts in excess of $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality. The Contractor and Work Hours Safety Standards Act requires the payment of time and one-half the basic rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

Contractors must ensure that their subcontractors are fully informed of requirements under federal government contract labor laws. Those who fail to properly compensate their workers are subject to federal withholding contract clauses that allow the government to withhold contract payments until all workers are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits.

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