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Ship repair companies pay $277,565 in back wages

May 12, 2014

Two New Jersey ship repair companies — Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corp. and Coastwide Material Supply Corp. — paid $277,565 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages for distribution to 224 workers who worked for the firms at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, N.J., the Department of Labor reported.

An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division’s Northern New Jersey district office found the companies violated the overtime provisions of the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, according to the DOL. Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair had a federal contract to repair and rehabilitate U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, and the company later engaged Coastwide Material Supply as a subcontractor on the contract. The firms share common ownership.

Investigators found the companies had full-time employees, considered crew leaders, who brought in temporary workers on an as-needed basis. The companies did not consider the temporary workers as employees, failed to keep accurate and complete records, and did not pay overtime.

After the companies were told of the violations, they agreed to pay the back wages and damages and to comply with all applicable provisions of the act on all work performed as part of any contract covered by the act, whether as a prime or subcontractor.

“The payment of back wages, damages and the potential for debarment reinforce the responsibility of government contractors to pay the proper wages to employees who work on public projects,” said John Warner, district director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Northern New Jersey district office, which conducted the investigation. “These back wages will go far to help these workers, many of whom were displaced from jobs after Hurricane Sandy.”

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