DOL Recovers $945K for Workers Denied Prevailing Wage by Calif. Drone Manufacturer

A company that manufactures drones for the U.S. Air Force has agreed to make up for lost wages due its workers under prevailing wage laws, the U.S. Department of Labor announced last Friday.

The company, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., based in San Diego, produces unmanned aircraft systems and tactical reconnaissance radars as well as advanced high resolution surveillance systems. As suppliers that furnish military testing services and logistical support under contract with the Air Force, General Atomics is subject to the requirements of the McNamara-O-Hara Service Contract Act.

That law requires that contractors and subcontractors performing services on covered federal contracts in excess of $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality, or rates contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement.

General Atomics didn’t comply with the law in paying 901 employees at job sites throughout the U.S., including the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest, Calif., DOL investigators found.

To make up for that shortfall, the company has paid $945,000 in back wages to these workers, DOL said.

General Atomics agreed to pay its employees the highest prevailing wage among all of its job sites going back for a six-year period.

Read more about the DOL action and contractor response here.

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