Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seattle Investigates Prevailing Wage Underpayments

The City of Seattle has launched an investigation into prevailing wage underpayments to workers involved on City-funded housing projects that are managed by non-profit housing providers.  Based on a review of documentation, evidence of the underpayments has been forwarded to the Seattle Police Department for a criminal investigation.

Common reasons for underpayments:  Prevailing wage underpayments occur based on a number of factors:
  • Wage rate:  Payment of less than the hourly prevailing wage rate
  • Classification:  Improper classification of workers and paying them for a lower prevailing wage classification

  • Hours:  Under reporting actual hours worked by employees on payroll reports submitted

  • Overtime:  Failure to pay appropriate overtime prevailing wage rates
  • Apprentices:  Use of apprentices not registered in an approved training program 
  • Number of workers:  Use of additional workers not reported on payroll reports
Federally funded projects:  Federally funded public works projects require that public agencies monitor prevailing wages by reviewing weekly certified payroll reports from the contractor and all subcontractors.  Federal regulations also require that the public agency interview workers on the project site and correlate information obtained in the interviews with information reported on payroll reports.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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