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Labor Department Orders Carrier to Pay Back Wages

April 1, 2013

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Contract Transport has agreed to pay 201 truck drivers a total of $160,073 in back wages and fringe benefits after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the trucking company violated provisions of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act.

The department says the company, which has a contract to haul mail for the U.S. Postal Service, violated the SCA by failing to document and pay mail haul drivers for delay time during trips.

“Government contracts specify in detailed language how pay and benefits are to be determined, and employers are required to follow these rules so workers are paid correctly,” said Michael Staebell, district director of the Wage and Hour Division’s office in Des Moines. “Contractors are well aware of these obligations when they bid, and when the contracts are awarded. This investigation demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring that employees are paid the wages they have rightfully earned and to leveling the playing field among all employers who do business with the government.”

The investigation determined that the employer paid drivers for a predetermined number of hours per trip, without regard to how long the trips took. Delays brought on by weather, construction or other factors resulted in hours worked by employees going unpaid, in violation of the SCA. As a result, 115 employees at Contract Transport’s headquarters facility in Des Moines are due $64,217 in back wages, and 86 employees who operate out of the company’s Kansas City, Mo., facility are due $95,856.

In addition to paying all of the back wages found due, Contract Transport has agreed to train both office staff and drivers on the importance of proper time documentation, to ensure future documentation of all hours worked, including delay time, and to provide a phone number to workers to report pay discrepancies.

The SCA 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.

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