DoL Gets Back Pay for Katrina Workers

January 27, 2005 ( - The US Labor Department (DoL) said more than 100 workers helping to clean debris from a US Navy facility in Mississippi will get $141,887 in back pay.

The DoL’s Wage and Hour Division charged that North Carolina-based KTC Services, a subcontractor at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport didn’t pay wages and overtime prevailing in the market as required by federal law, according to an report. The workers were cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina.

“As the Gulf Coast rebuilds, we want to make sure that workers receive the pay they deserve and aren’t taken advantage of,” Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said, according to the report. “Our wage laws protect all workers, and we have investigative teams on the ground ensuring that those who contribute their labor to the hurricane recovery effort are paid in accordance with these laws.”

Under the Service Contract Act, contractors and subcontractors with federal service contracts over $2,500 must pay their service workers no less than the wages and fringe benefits prevailing locally. Non-complying contractors may have their contract payments withheld until all workers are paid the prevailing wages and fringe benefits.

Also, the Contract Work Hours Safety Standards Act requires that workers employed on certain federally funded contracts be paid one-and-one-half times the local prevailing wage rate for all hours worked over 40 in a single work week.