NEWS RELEASE: State Penalizes and Moves to Suspend Contractor for Prevailing Wage ViolationsPosted on Mar 14, 2018 in Latest News
HONOLULU — Ohana Control Systems, Inc. has been assessed $117,897 in back wages and penalties for violations of Hawaii State wage and hour law. The Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced that it also has moved to suspend the contractor from public works projects for falsification of records related to the case.
Contractors are required to pay area prevailing wages on public works projects such as the Dole Middle School fire alarm system, and Ohana Control Systems failed to do so. The falsification of records occurred where the contractor certified that 401(k) retirement contributions were made for certain employees, when in fact no money had been deposited.
“DLIR Wages Standards Division investigators discovered the unpaid 401(k) contributions, but DLIR doesn’t administer 401(k) law,” explained DLIR Director Leonard Hoshijo. “The related wage and hour violation was in their claiming those 401(k) payments as credit towards meeting the required prevailing wage rate, when no payments were made. It’s a reminder that workers with 401(k) retirement plans should check that money is actually deposited in their account, seeking Federal assistance if needed.”
Other DLIR violations cited include:
- Too many workers underpaid as apprentices, according to apprentice to journeyworker ratio,
- Nonpayment at overtime rates,
- Failure to increase wage rates according to the Wage Rate Schedule,
- Failure to inform workers of the Wage Rate Schedule, by posting and providing copies, and
- Recordkeeping deficiencies.
Hoshijo concluded, “Contractors choose to seek taxpayer funded work. They should be prepared to compete fairly, paying workers according to the law and the very contracts they sign. If workers are shorted, bidding competition is made unfair, while our own taxes are used to undermine Hawaii’s standard of living.”
Ohana Control Systems, Inc., has been informed of its right to appeal, as well as having its second violation within a two-year period.
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