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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 07, 2011
Boone County Contractor Violates Prevailing Wage Law
Four workers receive $8,000 in owed wages
Columbia, Mo- After receiving complaints from workers, the Missouri Labor Department conducted a wage investigation and found Tiger Construction & Fence LLC, in Columbia, Missouri, in violation of the prevailing wage law for not paying the appropriate wages to four of its workers.
Tiger Construction & Fence LLC, was hired as a subcontractor by the general contractor Garvey Companies Inc, to complete the Clear Creek Pump Station and Force Main in Boone County. Because it was a project benefiting the public and paid for wholly or partially out of public funds, the project is a public works project requiring those working on it to be paid the prevailing wage rates.
The investigation concluded several of the workers were misclassified and paid incorrect wages. Some workers were paid as general laborers at wage rates between $8 and $18 an hour in cash—they should have earned $29.25 an hour.
“The prevailing wage law stabilizes the local economy by standardizing the wage base for those in the construction industry,” says Department Director Larry Rebman. “When contractors fail to pay the proper wages, they are really cheating their entire community.”
Jake Yarbrough was hired at $9 per hour and saw no deductions come out of his check nor was he told that the project was a public works project. After an employee from the City of Columbia stopped by to check out the progress, Yarbrough became suspicious and confronted his supervisor. The supervisor agreed to increase his pay, however, it still did not meet prevailing wage standards. Before long, Yarborough stopped receiving payment, which led to the worker filing a prevailing wage complaint.
“It was frustrating to have to deal with the owner of the company lying and then stealing our hard-earned wages. It was a huge relief to finally get compensation after the state got involved,” said Yarbrough. “Without the state in the picture, we would still be dealing with this in civil court.”
Of the $8,808.38 in restitution paid to the four workers, Yarborough received more than $4,500 in owed wages.
The Department received 308 prevailing wage complaints in fiscal year 2011 and collected more than $1,104,000 in restitution. For more information about prevailing wage or to file a prevailing wage complaint, visit www.labor.mo.gov/DLS/PrevailingWage/.
421 East Dunklin Street, P.O. Box 504, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0504
Phone: 573-751-7500 Fax: 573-751-6552