HR Management & Compliance

On Base: WHD Launches Enforcement Effort, Reaches Settlement with Army Employers

The Labor Department is taking its enforcement efforts onto military bases. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division this month announced that it is conducting a significant labor law enforcement effort on a multibillion dollar construction project at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tex., focused on promoting contractor and subcontractor compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Davis-Bacon Act and related employment rules.

DOL’s enforcement efforts will include multiple project sites at Fort Bliss. WHD investigators will review employment practices, pay records and possible joint employment circumstances to identify potential violations, the agency said.

Fort Bliss is a 1,700-square-mile Army installation that includes the Fort Bliss Military Reservation, McGregor Range Complex and White Sands Missile Range.

“This enforcement effort focuses on contractors and all levels of subcontractors to determine whether they are complying with federal wage laws, including those requiring the payment of locally prevailing wages and classifying employees properly,” said Cynthia Watson, southwest regional administrator for WHD in a statement.

DOL has signed a number of memorandums of understanding about misclassification of independent contractors with states in recent months as part of a large scale crack-down initiative. A DOL fact sheet about employment relationships can be found here.

Separately, DOL reached an agreement with a German Air Force Tactical Training Center at Hollomon Air Force Base in Alamogordo, N.M., to pay $33,768 in overtime back wages to eight current and former drivers following a WHD investigation.

The investigation found that workers received compensatory time off for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek, instead of being paid overtime (time and one-half their regular pay rate). Under the FLSA nonexempt workers must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and time and one-half their regular rate for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

“This employer profited by paying workers less than they were legally due under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Watson said in a statement about the agreement.