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First-ever Prosecution under Indiana Prevailing Wage Law

  • December 13, 2011

A subcontractor on Marion County, Indiana, public school projects has agreed to pay a fine of $1,000 and submit to a wage audit by the Indiana Department of Labor.  The agreement resulted from the first-ever prosecution of a contractor under the Common Construction Wage Act (Indiana Code 5-16-7), Indiana’s prevailing wage law. 

Prosecutor Terry Curry of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said, “[W]e are sending a message that we will abide by and enforce the Common Wage law in Marion County.”

The Common Construction Wage Act requires that any contractor awarded a contract on public work pay workers no less than the predetermined wage set by a committee in each county.  Violation constitutes a Class B misdemeanor.

Subcontractor White River Mechanical Inc. worked on two public school projects.  A grand jury found the company underpaid several employees who worked on the projects.  The Prosecutor’s Office estimated that the Indiana DOL audit may find unpaid wages and benefits of more than $50,000 owed to workers.

The Common Construction Wage Act covers most state and local public construction projects where the cost of construction is at least $150,000. That threshold increases to $250,000 on January 1, 2012, and to $350,000 on January 1, 2013. Due to an error in one of the bill’s amendments, the Act does not contain a dollar-value threshold for the six-month period from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011. The Indiana DOL said this means that most state and local public construction contracts awarded from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011, will be covered by the Act, regardless of the cost of the construction.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to answer questions about the Indiana Construction Wage Act and other workplace laws.

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