Tennessee workers paid $678,296 in wage and hour case

A military contractor has paid $678,296 to compensate workers at a Tennessee munitions plant for unpaid wages, benefits and overtime according to a statement from the Department of Labor. The Iowa-based contractor operates the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Gibson County as part of the military's Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support Program. DOL investigators began scrutinizing the company after workers complained about unpaid overtime and denied benefits.

Wage and Hour Division investigators discovered that the contractor failed to include wage requirements mandated by federal law in its contract with a Tennessee-based subcontractor. The provisions of the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act stipulate how contractors and subcontractors working on prime contracts must be paid and the benefits they are entitled to. Due to this oversight or omission, employees of the subcontractor were paid less than they were entitled to under federal law according to the DOL.

In addition to being paid lower wages, the subcontractor's employees were not provided the proper vacation, health care, holiday or welfare benefits. They were also not compensated adequately for any hours of overtime they worked according to the DOL. The agency's Wage and Hour Division enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Investigations like this one are generally thorough but brief. This is because allegations of wage and hour law violations can often be substantiated or proved false by checking pay stubs, payroll records and employment contracts. This is why attorneys with experience in this area may suggest that workers who feel they are being treated unfairly keep accurate records and gather as much supporting documentation as they can before stepping forward.

Source: WPSD, "63 workers get $678K in back wages, benefits from munition plant", Staff report, Oct. 1, 2018

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