A federal court has mandated that four Arizona contractors must compensate 890 workers with over $3.2 million in unpaid wages and damages following investigations by the Department of Labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that four Arizona contractors have been ordered to pay a total of $3.2 million in wages and damages to 890 workers for violating overtime and minimum wage laws. The investigations conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that 4-E Painting LLC, Liberty Constructors LLC, BCK Coatings Inc., and Geronimo Wall Systems LLC willfully and recklessly denied their employees proper pay.

The division’s investigations revealed that 4-E Painting LLC did not pay overtime wages to employees who were paid on a piece-rate basis or a combination of hourly and piece-rate wages. As a result, the company owes $432,633 in overtime wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 158 workers. Liberty Constructors LLC also denied employees their required overtime pay and attempted to conceal their violations by falsifying payroll records. The company has been ordered to pay $401,049 in unpaid wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 100 employees.

Geronimo Wall Systems LLC, a contractor specializing in lath, stucco, siding, and stone work, misclassified many of its employees as independent contractors and denied them overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. The division found that the company owes $443,115 in overtime wages and damages to 195 employees. BCK Coatings Inc., an apartment remodeling contractor, also failed to pay required overtime wages and made improper deductions from employees’ pay. The company has been ordered to pay $360,000 in unpaid minimum and overtime wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 437 employees.

In addition to the wages and damages owed to the affected workers, the department has also assessed civil penalties against each of the four contractors. These penalties, totaling $95,402, serve as a reminder that employers who willfully violate labor laws will be held accountable.

Eric Murray, the Wage and Hour Division District Director in Phoenix, emphasized the prevalence of schemes to avoid paying proper overtime rates in Arizona’s construction industry. He stated that these practices not only deprive workers of their hard-earned wages, but also create a false impression that their wages comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The division remains committed to enforcing labor laws and ensuring that workers receive the pay they are entitled to.  

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