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Contractor for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans pays back wages for subcontracted workers

grand rapids home for veterans
Posted at 11:17 AM, Aug 19, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The main 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 contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction projects to pay prevailing wage rates and benefits to all laborers on site, according to a news release Thursday.

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 did not provide or pay for fringe benefits.

The Christman Company – the project’s prime contractor – has paid subcontracted carpenters more than $26,000 in back wages and benefits owed to resolve the issue.

That company 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, according to the federal investigation.

Most of those workers were paid between $15 and $18 per hour instead of the prevailing wage.

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,” said Mary O’Rourke, district director of the Wage and Hour Division 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.