Oil, Gas Contractor Pays Workers $1 Million in Back Wages (1)

June 15, 2021, 7:24 PM; Updated: June 15, 2021, 10:38 PM

A national infrastructure contractor paid more than $1 million in back wages to 362 workers who helped build interstate natural gas pipelines and other projects across five different states, the U.S. Labor Department announced.

Henkels & McCoy Inc., based in Blue Bell, Pa., underpaid employees for overtime work and failed to keep accurate records of travel and work expenses, the department said in a press release Tuesday that cited a Feb. 12 consent decree issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The decree stemmed from a complaint the DOL filed after investigating the company, the agency said.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division uncovered the alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act during an investigation of 11 worksites in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and West Virginia.

The court ordered the company to pay two installments of $542,915; one for back wages and a second for liquidated damages. The DOL alleged that the company didn’t pay overtime rates required by law for hours worked beyond 40 in a week; the workers averaged 60 hours a week. The company made daily lump sum payments to workers but didn’t calculate that toward their overtime rate, according to the release.

“Hard-working employees in the construction industry deserve to be paid every cent they have earned,” Jessica Looman, Wage and Hour Division principal deputy administrator, said in the release.

The contractor “stands committed to providing full, fair, and equitable pay for all employees for the work they perform as required by law,” Lori Armstrong Halber, partner with Fox Rothschild LLP attorneys representing Henkels & McCoy, said by email.

(Updated with attorney comment in sixth paragraph. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Papscun in Washington at dpapscun@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Lauinger at jlauinger@bloomberglaw.com; Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com

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