NJ Labor Department Returns $162K in Back Wages to Truck Drivers After Prevailing Wage Violation Investigation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2019
TRENTON – An investigation conducted by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development's (NJDOL) Division of Wage and Hour Compliance revealed that Richard E. Pierson Construction, Inc. of Woodstown failed to properly pay its truck drivers $162,912.53, in accordance with the Garden State’s prevailing wage laws.
The inquiry, sparked by a formal complaint to NJDOL, determined that 48 of the company's drivers were properly paid by the employer only when the drivers were on public works job sites, but were not paid the state’s prevailing wage for the time hauling materials to and from those job sites, which is against the law.
"Public contracting is a privilege – not a right, and New Jersey workers deserve to take home every single penny they have earned," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We want employers to know that we take the state’s prevailing wage laws seriously, and we will continue to investigate these matters to protect our taxpayers’ investments.”
Richard E. Pierson Construction, Inc. fully cooperated with the investigation and, once advised of the law, agreed to perform a self-audit, repay the due back wages to employees, and pay administrative fees and penalties in excess of $58,000.
The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) establishes a prevailing wage level for workers engaged in public works projects to safeguard their efficiency and general well-being, and to protect workers – as well as employers – from the effects of serious and unfair competition. In New Jersey, these rates vary by county and type of work performed.
For more information on New Jersey’s wage and hour laws, please visit myworkrights.nj.gov.