A judge in Syracuse, NY has ordered two subcontractors to pay $71,000 in back pau for failing to comply with prevailing wages while providing security for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (USDHUD).
The father and son duo of Chester and Peter Vinch — Vinch’s PI & Security — will also be barred from applying for federal contracts for three years. The judgement is the result of a complaint filed on behalf of the affected workers by the labor department’s Syracuse Area Office of the Wage and Hour Division:
“Employers enter into federal contracts knowing that they are responsible for properly compensating their employees and maintaining accurate time and payroll records,” said Catherine Quinn-Kay, the division’s Syracuse director.
“When employers ignore their responsibilities, they not only cheat their own employees, they gain an unfair advantage over those employers who obey the law,” she said.
Local governments are also affected by the loss of tax revenue. The investigation falls under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act which bounds contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wages on any contract over $2,500.
In addition, the unscrupulous pair failed to provide proper benefits. Partners Training School and Vinch’s PI & Security also failed to maintain proper records concerning hours and rates of pay. The ruling was made by Judge Ralph A. Romano.
Wage and hour theft are somewhat of a national epidemic, yet state governments are just beginning to crack down on those who fail to make good on federally funded projects. According to Catherine Quinn-Kay, the division’s Syracuse director, the $71,000 fine is emblematic of a renewed effort to halt illegal behavior by contractors.
“This judgment illustrates that the Labor Department won’t hesitate to pursue appropriate legal remedies to ensure proper treatment of workers and a level playing field for employers.”
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