Contractors Docked $1M for Not Paying Prevailing Wage to U.S. Senate Cafeteria Workers

Contractors providing services to the Congress have to obey prevailing wage laws just like any other federal contractor. When they violate the law, they should expect to pay a heavy price to set things right.

The latest contractors to learn that lesson are two companies that prepare and serve meals for Capitol Hill lawmakers and their staffs in the U.S. Senate cafeteria.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Restaurant Associates and its subcontractor, Personnel Plus, will pay 674 workers $1,008,302 in back wage for violations of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act.

DOL said its investigation revealed that the companies improperly classified workers– paying them for lower-paying jobs than they actually performed–and required employees to work prior to their scheduled starting times without compensation. Paying below the required rates also caused the companies to fail to pay the workers overtime at the proper rates, DOL said.

Investigators found that Restaurant Associates’ failure to pay workers proper overtime and failure to maintain a record of hours employees worked prior to their scheduled shifts also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The SCA applies to every contract valued in excess of $2,500 entered into by the U.S. Government or the District of Columbia, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services in the U.S. using service employees. Contractors and subcontractors performing on covered service contracts must observe minimum wage and safety, health and welfare benefits and maintain certain records.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt workers be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

Here’s DOL’s Tuesday announcement of the investigation findings and monetary award.

 

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