A federal judge ordered a longtime military contractor to pay more than $1.6 million in damages for underpaying workers at Fort Campbell.
U.S. District Judge William Haynes found Circle C Contractors – which has held federal contracts for more than two decades – in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, a law requiring workers on federal projects be paid the prevailing wage of the area in which they are working.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office, Circle C agreed to pay electrical workers at Fort Campbell $19.19 per hour, but instead paid between $12 and $16. Now the company will have to pay $1.66 million – triple the damages in question – for violating the agreement.
“The United States Attorney’s Office will vigorously pursue allegations that government contractors have not dealt fairly with the United States and its agencies,” said U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough. “Businesses that contract with the government to pay prevailing wages to employees and contractors on government projects will be held to the letter of their agreement in order to protect local wage standards for the benefit of local workers.”
Haynes' ruling ends nearly two years of litigation in the suit. In October 2008, the United States filed a lawsuit against Circle C and its electrical subcontractor, Phase Tech LLC, alleging that Circle C filed false payroll certifications with the government that failed to disclose Phase Tech as a subcontractor; failed to identify any of its employees, as required by federal law and the contract’s terms, and falsely certified that Circle C and its agents were paying the prevailing wages to employees that were
required by the contract. The case against Phase Tech was settled in June 2009, in which Phase Tech agreed to pay $15,000 in damages.