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U.S. Department of Labor

Bristol, Tenn.-based Frizzell Construction will pay $195,193 in back wages and fringe benefits to 27 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. According to a news release from the agency, the construction contractor violated the requirements of the Davis-Beacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Investigators determined the contractor incorrectly classified employees and paid them at lower rates than those applicable for the work performed, paying employees as general laborers when the work performed reflected skilled labor. The work of concrete finishers, ironworkers, and carpenters fall under the skilled labor classification, requiring payment at higher rates. Frizzell Construction also failed to record and pay the required rates to employees who worked multiple positions during a project, resulting in the payment of incorrect wage rates and incorrect overtime rates. Wage and Hour Division inspectors also determined Frizzell Construction failed to pay or provide fringe benefits to affected employees.

"No contractor should gain an economic advantage by paying workers below the wages and fringe benefits required on a prevailing wage project," said Nashville Wage and Hour Division district director Nettie Lewis. "Not only does this practice undercut what the workers involved are legally owed for their work, it results in unfair competition for contractors who play by the rules."