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DOL recovers $1 million in back wages from Seattle security company

2009-12-26

December 2009

HWA, Inc., a Seattle-based security company, will pay almost $1 million in back wages to 206 employees in violation of the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Contractor Work Hours Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA).  HWA, Inc. held seven federal contracts providing security guards to six government agencies in four states.  In August 2009, the company began missing payrolls which resulted in unpaid back wages totaling $980,121.

Under the SCA, contractors and subcontractors performing on federal service contracts in excess of $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality.  The CWHSSA requires the payment of time and one-half the basic rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.  Contractors must ensure that their subcontractors are fully informed of requirements under federal government contract labor laws.  Those who fail to properly compensate their workers are subject to federal withholding contract clauses that allow the government to withhold contract payment until all workers are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits.