The US Department of Labor recovered $633,029 in back wages for DC contractors’ workers for misclassification and other violations; Louisiana healthcare provider faces $79,362 in fines.

District of Columbia. The DOL reported on March 20 it has recovered $633,029 in back wages from subcontractors involved in the construction of an affordable housing development in the District of Columbia after finding cases of misclassification and other violations.

Three offices of the department’s Wage and Hour Division investigated six subcontractors hired by the development’s general manager, McCullough Construction and its first-tier subcontractors, to work on a project in the southeast section of the district called The Bridge. The investigation found the employers violated the Davis-Bacon Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

Harwood, Maryland-based Colonial Electric Company Inc. as the first-tier contractor agreed to pay $292,193 assessed to its subcontractor, MTZ Electric Service LLC, which was found to have misclassified 14 workers as independent contractors, failed to pay prevailing wage rates and the required overtime premium, did not provide health and welfare fringe benefits, and violated recordkeeping requirements by falsifying and omitting workers from certified payroll records. In addition, Victor Martinez, MTZ’s owner, signed a consent agreement to accept debarment, which prohibits the employer from bidding on federally funded construction projects for three years.

The DOL also recovered $340,836 from five subcontractors found in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia contracts to pay their laborers and mechanics no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.

Louisiana. The DOL also reported March 20 that its Wage and Hour Division found home healthcare provider Amazing Grace PCA misclassified 77 workers as independent contractors, denying them overtime wages. The employer also failed to pay one worker for all hours worked, violating the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The division recovered $79,362 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages.

“Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a serious issue that denies many workers of their full and rightfully earned wages,” Wage and Hour District Director Troy Mouton said. “Healthcare workers are among our nation’s most essential workers, and their employers cannot shortchange them for their hard work.”