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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: U.s. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Tennessee Construction Contractor Paying $195,193 for Wage and Benefit Violations

By Press release submission | Feb 25, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor issued the following announcement on Feb. 20.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Frizzell Construction Co. Inc. – based in Bristol, Tennessee – will pay $195,193 in back wages, and fringe benefits to 27 employees for violating requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined that Frizzell Construction Co. Inc. incorrectly classified employees and paid them at rates lower than those applicable to the work they actually performed. The employer paid employees as general laborers when they actually performed more skilled labor as concrete finishers, ironworkers, and carpenters, all of which require payment at higher rates. The employer also failed to record and pay required rates to employees who worked in multiple positions for which different rates applied. These incorrect classifications resulted in the employer paying incorrect prevailing wage rates to the employees and subsequently incorrect overtime rates when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Investigators also found that due to the incorrect classification, the employer failed to pay or provide required fringe benefits to the affected employees.

"No contractor should gain an economic advantage by paying workers below the wages and fringe benefits required on a prevailing wage project," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville. "Not only does this practice undercut what the workers involved are legally owed for their work, it results in unfair competition for contractors who play by the rules. We encourage all employers to contact us for guidance to avoid violations and ensure workers receive the wages they have earned."

Frizzell Construction Co. Inc. was contracted to perform construction work on the Morristown Utility Systems Contract A – Lowland Wastewater System Improvements. The Economic Development Agency partially funded the project. The DBRA requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay workers prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and as included in their contracts.

Original source can be found here.

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