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MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
LABOR NEWS
Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon,
Governor
  
 

Lawrence G. Rebman,
Department Director



FOR PRESS INQUIRIES, CONTACT:  Amy Susan (573) 751-1518
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 15, 2010

Investigation Uncovers a Newton County Wage Scandal
16 Workers Receive $67K in Owed Wages due to Dept Intervention


Jefferson City, Mo- After receiving an anonymous complaint, the Missouri Labor Department conducted a wage investigation and found Alexander’s Masonry, LLC, in Monett, Missouri, in violation of the prevailing wage law for not paying the appropriate wages to 16 of its workers.

Alexander’s Masonry, LLC, was hired as a subcontractor by the general contractor Dalton Killinger, to complete the brick work on the Seneca High School Gymnasium renovation in Newton 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 $10 an hour when in fact they were performing work under the occupational title of brick layer and stone mason which should have earned them $40 an hour.

“As a general contractor, we rely on companies to do the right thing and when they don’t, the state is there to hold them accountable,” says Chuck Killinger of Dalton Killinger Construction Company.  

In addition to the misclassification, Alexander’s Masonry, LLC, required its workers to endorse some of their paychecks back to the company. By doing this, the company was able to provide the general contractor certified payroll reports with pay stubs reflecting the payment of the appropriate wages but without actually paying the workers all of their wages.  

“This is the most egregious type of violation-- when someone pays workers with public funds and then expects those workers to give the money back. It’s wrong and it will be stopped,” sanys Department Director Larry Rebman.

Adam Portrey, a father of a young family from Greene County, was hired on as a general laborer but doing brick layer work and only received $14 per hour rather than $40 per hour. He is owed more than $13,000 from Alexander’s Masonry, LLC.

“It’s not fair to us who work hard to earn this money.  For those in the construction industry, it’s a onetime deal to make enough money in the summer to take care of our families in the winter. If contractors or subs can’t pay their workers the right wages, they shouldn’t be bidding on these projects,” says Portrey.

Some workers like Portrey have received checks in the mail while others have yet to claim their owed wages. The total due to these workers is $67,014 and is being paid by Alexander’s Masonry, LLC.

The Department has received 436 prevailing wage complaints in fiscal year 2010 and collected more than $546,000 in restitution. For more information about prevailing wage or to file a prevailing wage complaint, visit www.labor.mo.gov/dls/prevailingwage/index.asp.

 

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www.labor.mo.gov