In a consent judgment in a federal labor case, major specialty contractor Henkels & McCoy Inc. has paid about $1.1 million in back pay and damages for allegedly not paying required overtime wages to 362 current and former workers in five states, the U.S. Dept. of Labor says.
The payment, which DOL announced on June 15, follows an order in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, which upheld findings of a DOL investigation, the department said.
Under the consent judgment, Henkels & McCoy has paid $542,915 in back wages plus the same amount for liquidated damages.
DOL's lawsuit, filed March 6, 2020—under the Trump administration—alleges the company “willfully violated” overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, from at least Feb. 14, 2017, through at least Feb. 13, 2019.
It says the affected workers, who were operators and laborers, averaged 60-hour workweeks.
The workers were at 11 jobsites, including three in Pennsylvania; two in New York; two in West Virginia; and one each in Connecticut and Georgia.
DOL alleges the company “disguised as ‘per diems’ and … ‘rental pay,’ lump-sum payments that in reality had no relation to any work-related expenses, and were therefore additional wages rather than reimbursements.”
As wages, those amounts would have been included in the base on which the time-and-a-half payments were calculated.
DOL says some of the daily lump-sum payments, labeled as “per diems,” were between about $20 and $45.
Payments labeled “truck rental pay” or “personal owned vehicle allowance” ranged from about $45 to $65.
The department also contends that Henkels & McCoy failed to keep adequate records of its employees.
The consent judgment was filed on Feb. 12, 2021, and a judge approved it on Feb. 18. The release was issued after the company completed the payment, according to DOL.
Lori Armstrong Halber, Henkels & McCoy's outside counsel, said in an emailed statement to ENR that the company "made a payment to settle a dispute with the U.S. Dept. of Labor involving complex overtime payment calculations."
Armstrong Halber, a partner with the Fox Rothschild LLP law firm, added, "Henkels & McCoy Inc. stands committed to providing full, fair and equitable pay for all employees for the work they perform as required by law."
Henkels & McCoy Inc., based in Blue Bell, Pa., ranked #14 on ENR’s 2020 Top Specialty Contractors list, based on its reported $1.6 billion in 2019 revenue.
It was founded in 1923 and is a subsidiary of Henkels & McCoy Group Inc.