PORTLAND, OR – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, a Salem construction contractor is paying $68,711 in back wages to 31 employees who worked on a Eugene-Springfield area public housing project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Investigators found Mustang Ridge Construction, a subcontractor of Meili Construction Inc. of Eugene, paid several employees rates below those required on the contract. The employer erroneously paid workers performing carpentry at laborer rates for some of their hours, rather than at the higher carpenter rates required under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. The division determined that the employer also underpaid two forklift operators for some of their hours. Mustang Ridge also violated federal recordkeeping requirements when they paid workers biweekly on this federally financed contract, rather than weekly.

“Enforcement of the prevailing wage laws levels the playing field for all contractors and protects the wages of hard-working, middle-class American workers,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar, in Portland. “The Wage and Hour Division will remain vigilant in its enforcement to ensure employees are paid in accordance with prevailing wage laws.”

Mustang Ridge Construction provides commercial and residential framing contractor services in Oregon and Washington. Meili Construction Company subcontracted the company to perform framing for a $17 million HUD project to build multi-unit residences in the Eugene-Springfield area.

The DBRA requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay their laborers and mechanics prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the secretary of labor. On a Davis-Bacon Act project, the prime contractor is responsible for the compliance of subcontractors and lower-tier subcontractors.

For more information on DBRA, or other laws enforced by the division, visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, or call 866-4US-WAGE (866-487-9243).

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