Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Compendium of Labor Department Settlements with Government Contractors

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) have been posting a lot of investigation results lately. We don't know how many investigators and auditors are employed there but there must be many based on the number of audits/investigations they're completing.

The WHD investigates contractor and subcontractor compliance with prevailing wage statutes such as the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contracting Act. The OFCCP focuses on contractor and subcontractor compliance with federal prohibitions against discriminatory hiring and promoting practices. Both the WHD and the OFCCP initiate their own randomly selected audits but also respond to hotline complaints, congressional inquiries, and other allegations of impropriety.

Monday, the OFCCP announced a settlement with Cintas Corp for $424 thousand because Cintas allegedly discrimnated against female production workers with regard to their compensation and discriminated against black and make applicants for garment inspector/hanger positions and against minority applicants for service sales representative positions.

Also Monday, the WHD announced a settlement with Lockheed Martin for $327 thousand for alleging classifying some employees as exempt from FLSA  overtime requirements. Lockheed also violated the record-keeping requirements of the FLSA.

A week ago Tuesday, the WHD announced a settlement of $1.3 million in back wages for 1,8534 employees to resolve alleged violations of the prevailing wage acts. These employees were engaged in disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The contractor failed to pay overtime.

Yesterday, the WHD announced a settlement with an electrical contractor working on a VA (Veterans Affairs) construction project. WHD found that the contractor had exceed the journeyman to apprentice ratio and should have classed some of the apprentices as journeymen. That cost the contractor $37 thousand.

It is very difficult for small contractors to know, understand, and implement the myriad labor regulations on the books just like its difficult for small contractors to know and understand procurement regulations. Contractors need to know what they're signing up to before entering into federal contracting.

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