by Jeff Gore
When it rains, it pours.
The Department of Labor announced today that Quinco Electrical--a Winter Park-based contractor recently ordered to pay restitution to the federal government after violating the Buy American Act--was also found to have been cheating its electricians out of higher wages by classifying them as “pipe layers.” The company will be required to pay out $68,778 in back wages to the workers.
The news comes on top of two well-publicized investigations (which the rest of the Orlando press corps originally conflated into one) last month into the employment practices of contractors involved in the construction of the new Veterans Affairs clinic in the Lake Nona area southeast of Orlando.
Quinco Electrical is one of the contractors working on the site.
The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud was wrapping up its own probe at the site on Feb. 9 when somebody on the site tipped off Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to the possibility of illegal aliens working on the premises. The ensuing raid was juicy fodder for local TV news, given the thermal imaging reportedly used to locate people who may have been hiding in the walls.
Neither the Division of Insurance Fraud nor the VA would say which contractors are the subject of the initial investigation, but it seemed fitting that the state’s insurance fraud investigators would be on site, considering that former Quinco procurement manager Sam Mollison had also told us that the company had been cashing in on insurance checks after falsely claiming that materials had been stolen for their warehouse.
The Department of Labor’s full press release on today's Quinco bust is attached below.
Winter Park, Fla., electrical contractor agrees to pay 14 workers more than $68,700 in back wages following US Labor Department investigation
Wage and Hour Division finds violations of Davis-Bacon Act, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $68,778 in back wages for 14 employees of Quinco Electrical Inc., following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found the company violated provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.
Quinco Electrical Inc. is a Winter Park-based commercial electrical contractor with offices in Irving, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., and Douglasville, Ga., that employs more than 500 employees.
“Workers employed on federally-funded projects deserve their full pay as required under federal law,” said Will Garnitz, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s South Florida District Office. “This action underscores the Labor Department’s commitment to ensure proper prevailing wages and benefits are paid to the many men and women working on federal contracts.”
The Davis-Bacon Act requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally-funded projects to pay their laborers and mechanics the proper prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits as determined by the secretary of labor.
Investigators found that the company failed to maintain an allowable ratio of apprentices to journeymen electrical workers on the jobsite and improperly classified electricians as pipe layers, resulting in those workers receiving less than the required Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates. Employees who were misclassified are receiving $68,541 in back wages.
In addition, the investigation revealed that the company had violated provisions of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act when it made overtime premium payments to employees who were misclassified under Davis-Bacon. As a result, five employees who had been misclassified are receiving a total of $237 in premium pay for the overtime hours they worked because the company had calculated their overtime pay using a rate that was lower than the rate required under Davis-Bacon.
The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act applies to contractors and subcontractors with federal service contracts and federally-funded and assisted construction contracts exceeding $100,000. Covered contracts include those entered into by the U.S., any agency or instrumentality of the U.S., any territory of the U.S. or the District of Columbia.
For more information on the Davis-Bacon Act, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, and other federal laws, contact the Wage and Hour Division’s South Florida District Office at 305-596-9874 or call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.