Posts Tagged ‘contractors’

DOL: Chinese Companies Bilked Contractors $13.9M in Unpaid Wages for Saipan Hotel Work

According to the Labor Department, these Chinese-based construction contractors screwed over their workforce on minimum wage and overtime pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor has finalized a series of settlements with contractors on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that will pay a collective $13.9 million in back wages and damages to thousands of employees who came from China to build the Saipan Casino and Hotel on the island.

Investigators with the Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that the foreign-based construction contractors paid their workforce less than the minimum wage and overtime pay required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Four China-based construction contractors – MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co., Beilida New Materials System Engineering Co. Ltd., Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, and Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. LLC – have entered into formal agreements to pay $13,972,425 in back wages and liquidated damages to more than 2,400 employees.

MCC, Beilida and Gold Mantis also employed workers brought to Saipan as “tourists” from China under a tourist visa waiver program offered by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. These Chinese “tourists” worked at the casino job site without proper work visas. In addition to being paid in violation of the minimum wage and overtime requirements, these workers also incurred debt of $6,000 or more when they were required to pay their own airfare and recruitment fees prior to their employment on Saipan.

“These settlements ensure that thousands of workers will receive the wages they legally earned, while simultaneously sending a strong, clear message to other employers,” said Wage and Hour Acting Administrator Bryan Jarrett. “Employers who evade the law in an attempt to reduce expenses must not gain a competitive advantage over those who play by the rules.  Regardless of where work is performed in the U.S. or its territories, we will continue to enforce the law and level the playing field.”

“As the Department of Labor works to prevent visa fraud and abuse, this case represents an example of the Department’s strong commitment to protecting the American workforce by enforcing the law,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

Imperial Pacific International contracted with various China-based companies for the construction of its Saipan Casino and Hotel project. These settlements resolve a portion of the Wage and Hour Division’s wide-ranging investigation into the ongoing casino and hotel project.

The Department’s Office of the Solicitor negotiated the settlements.

Contractors, Goldman Sachs Settle Overtime Dispute for $1M

No employer is immune from suits for wage and hour violations–not the bank around the corner, and not a major Wall Street player. There will always be an enterprising plaintiff’s attorney willing to take on any employer that does not pay its workers time-and-a-half for overtime, for example.

Case in point. A group of computer technicians who worked as contractors for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will receive nearly $1 million to settle overtime pay allegations against the company. In a filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the

The contractors filed suit in My 2010, claiming they deserved overtime pay because some of them worked more than 70 hours a week. If approved by the court, the settlement would provide overtime pay to more than 100 contractors in New York and New Jersey.

The case is Bardouille v. Goldman Sachs, No. 10-cv-4285

U.S. Supreme Okays Arizona Law Denying Business Licenses to Contractors That Employ Undocumented Workers

Arizona can lawfully deny contractors a business license for a second violation of the state’s law prohibiting employment of undocument workers, a split U.S. Supreme Court today.

At issue is the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007, which passed over the opposition of business groups and civil rights organizations. Writing for the 5-3 majority, Chief Justice Roberts said that the law “falls well within the confines of the authority Congress chose to leave to the states.”

Next up for the court: Arizona’s law requiring police to check the immigration of people they lawfully stop and who they suspect are in the U.S. illegally. That law is on hold following a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that it interferes with Congress’s power to make immigration policy.

Here’s the full text of the decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting.