GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The prime contractor responsible for construction of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans paid back wages and benefits to 18 workers on the project after a federal investigation found the subcontractor who employed them had shortchanged them.
The Davis Bacon and Related Acts require that contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction projects pay prevailing wage rates and benefits to all laborers on site. They also mandate that prime contractors make sure their subcontractors comply with the law and certify payrolls properly.
A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found that while Staffing Solutions – a subcontractor on the veterans home project – had certified that it paid 18 carpenters the required $18.14 in prevailing wages and $4.59 in fringe benefits per hour, their employer had actually paid them less per hour and failed to pay for, or provide, fringe benefits.
The Christman Company, the project’s prime contractor, has paid the 18 subcontracted carpenters $26,671 in back wages and benefits owed to resolve the discrepancy, and its failure to certify.
The Lansing-based prime contractor hired Staffing Solutions Inc. of Grand Rapids to provide workers for the project. Staffing Solutions hired and paid the workers as laborers when, in fact, most of them performed carpentry work on the job site. Instead of paying the $18.14 per hour prevailing wage rate for carpentry work, the subcontractor paid most of the workers between $15 and $18 an hour. Staffing Solutions also failed to provide fringe benefits or pay a cash equivalent of $4.59 per hour to the workers and to pay correct overtime rates.
“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 Mary O’Rourke in Grand Rapids. “The Wage and Hour Division will remain vigilant in its enforcement to ensure employees are paid in accordance with prevailing wage laws. Contractors with questions about their responsibilities are encouraged to call us, confidentially, for help.”
Contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction projects are required to pay covered workers weekly and submit weekly certified payroll records to the contracting agency. They are also required to post the Davis-Bacon poster (WH-1321) on the job site.
For more information about the DBRA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.