Government Contractor Operating in Florida Ordered to Pay Nearly $25,000 in Back Wages By DOL
On November 23rd, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a Florida contractor has agreed to pay a total of $24,823 in back wages to 102 employees. According to the federal agency, the workers were improperly denied certain wage and hour benefits that were guaranteed to them under a federal government contract. Government contacts often hold employers to higher wage and hour standards. Here, our West Palm Beach employment lawyers provide an overview of the settlement and explain the importance of complying with the wage and hour requirements of a government contract.
Private Contractor Failed to Pay Health and Welfare Benefits
The DOL initiated the wage and hour action against a company named Trinity Technology Group Inc.—a private security firm based in Northern Virginia. Trinity Technology entered into a contract with the federal government to provide services at the Orlando/Sanford International Airport in Central Florida. The contract was paid for with funds dedicated to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Based on the requirements of a federal law called the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), the federal contract required Trinity Technology to pay supplemental health and welfare benefits to personnel that were working under the agreement. After an investigation, the DOL determined that the Trinity Technology Group improperly underpaid these mandatory fringe benefits. As a consequence, the agency took enforcement action against the company.
Employers Must Comply With Wage and Hour Requirements of Federal Contracts
In its press release announcing the settlement with the contractor, the Department of Labor emphasized that all companies that accept contracts from the federal government must strictly comply with any and all wage and hour requirements. This includes federal regulations, state regulations, and any supplemental requirements of the contract.
In many cases, the state and federal government agencies include wage and hour provisions and other employment language in their contracts that go beyond the basic requirements of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other similar regulations. In other words, government contractors are often required to provide additional wage and hour benefits to employees being paid under a contract. It is crucial that employers understand and comply with these requirements.
Employers that contract with the federal government should be sure to review the protocols. Strict compliance with all applicable wage and hour regulations will spare the company from facing potential enforcement action. Likewise, workers should ensure that they are being paid the full wages and benefits that they are owed under the terms of the employment.
Contact Our Florida Employment Attorneys for Legal Guidance
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida FLSA lawyers are experienced advocates for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about federal contracts and wage and hour claims, we are here to help. Contact us right away to schedule a confidential evaluation of your legal case. We represent employers and employees throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County.