Labor Department Alerts Missouri Contractor of Excessive Unemployment Violation
The Labor Department took action to protect Missouri’s workforce by enforcing a law that bars workers from certain states from working on state public works projects during periods of excessive unemployment. Excessive unemployment is in effect when the state’s unemployment rate exceeds 5 percent for two consecutive months. Missouri has been in this phase since October 2007.
The Department’s Division of Labor Standards learned of the excessive unemployment violation when a worker filed a Prevailing Wage Complaint against Western Waterproofing Co., Inc. A review of the company’s payroll records showed that Illinois workers had twice been hired to work on the Cole County Jail project in Jefferson City. Illinois is one of nearly two dozen states whose residents are barred from working on public works projects in Missouri during periods of high unemployment. Public works projects include work on roads, bridges, or any public building being constructed with the use of public funds. A “barred” or restrictive state is one that has enacted state laws restricting Missouri laborers from working on public works projects in that state.
“With so many Missourians out of work, it is absolutely critical that we ensure our tax dollars are not going to help the economies of states that discriminate against Missourians,” said Labor Department Director, Larry Rebman. “We will continue to protect Missouri’s workforce by enforcing the law.”
Currently, Western Waterproofing Co., is not working on the Cole County Jail project, but will resume its work in coming months. The Division of Labor Standards has notified the company of its violation per the law, and has informed the company that it must replace the Illinois workers with workers who qualify under the law. The Division was assured of future compliance. The company is one of three contractors involved with the construction of the new Cole County Jail.
If you suspect that an employer or contractor has hired employees from a restrictive state, you may fill out a Prevailing Wage Complaint Form, or contact the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.
For more information about the laws surrounding excessive unemployment in Missouri, visit http://www.labor.mo.gov/LS/faq/faq_PublicWorksEmployment.asp.