Washington Company Cited for Shorting Construction Workers on Project

"Integrity vastly underpaid its employees for the work they did," said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director for L&I's Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division. "It's important that agencies and non-profits understand that using public money on a project means it's covered under prevailing wage."

A Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found that six construction workers employed by Integrity Construction LLC were shorted more than $155,000 in wages for work on a Belfair senior center and are owed about $25,000 each for wood framing at the site, the Belfair Hospitality, Unity, and Belonging (HUB) Senior Center. Their employer, Integrity Construction LLC, was on the project from May to August 2015. L&I recently notified the company of the violation.

"Integrity vastly underpaid its employees for the work they did," said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director for L&I's Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division. "By making sure contractors pay their workers fairly, we are creating a level playing field for firms in the construction industry."

The investigation found the Tacoma company owes $156,692.48 in wages and more than $30,000 in fines and penalties. Integrity did not appeal the violation and is barred from bidding on future public works projects until that money is paid. The Belfair project received $1.86 million from the state's capital budget, which meant Integrity was required to follow the state's prevailing wage law. L&I enforces the law.

Because the project owner was a non-profit and not a public agency, the organization was not required to post a performance bond or hold money aside until the project was completed. "It's important that agencies and non-profits understand that using public money on a project means it's covered under prevailing wage," Smith said. "The law's safeguards would have assured protection for the workers' wages."

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OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
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