Labor Department probe retrieves $547,000 in unpaid wages and compensation, subsequent to discovering a Guam building contractor has once again underpaid its employees.

BARRIGADA, GUAM – The U.S. Department of Labor has successfully recovered $547,378 in back wages and liquidated damages for 139 employees of a federal construction contractor in Guam. The contractor, Ian Corporation, also known as Ian Construction, was found to have violated multiple federal labor laws in their treatment of workers on projects supported by federal funds.

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor conducted an investigation and determined that Ian Corporation, as well as its owner Jihyung P. Chong, had violated prevailing wage requirements under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, as well as overtime requirements under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and Fair Labor Standards Act. These violations included failing to pay for all hours worked by employees.

As a result of the investigation, the division was able to recover $295,420 in back wages and $251,957 in liquidated damages for the 139 affected employees. In addition, the department also assessed $50,000 in penalties due to the repeated and willful nature of the violations.

This is not the first time that Ian Construction has been investigated by the department. Previous investigations in 2012, 2016, and 2021 have also resulted in the recovery of back wages and damages for workers, totaling $10,849 for 44 employees. These violations included overtime, health and welfare benefits, driving time, hours not paid, and illegal deductions.

According to Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter, adherence to baseline wage standards is just as important as adhering to building standards for construction projects. He emphasized the importance of counting and paying for all hours worked, including mandated breaks, as it is not only a good practice but also a legal requirement.

To learn more about the laws enforced by the division, including the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, individuals can visit the department’s website and use the search tool to determine if they may be owed back wages. The department also offers assistance in over 200 languages through their toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Additionally, the department has a Timesheet App available for download on Android and iOS devices in both English and Spanish to help ensure accurate hours and pay.

For more information on the Wage and Hour Division and their efforts to protect workers’ rights, individuals can visit their website.  

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