Anytime I read something that includes “first of its kind” and “prosecution,” I am naturally intrigued as a lawyer. When it also involves a contractor, it warrants a post here on Law under Construction.
Recently, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced that it has reached a plea agreement with a local contractor in a matter involving a common construction wage violation. As most readers know, the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act (f/k/a the prevailing wage law) requires any entity awarded a contract for public work (including subs) to pay no less than the common wage, as predetermined by a committee in each county. Employees are classified as either unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled. Further, a contractor or subcontractor who knowingly fails to pay the rate commits a Class B misdemeanor.
The contractor in question worked on two Indianapolis Public School projects. A grand jury investigation showed that several employees on the projects were underpaid. The company had incorrectly listed skill levels and pay rates and misrepresented the status of employees to the IRS. As part of the plea agreement, the company was fined $1,000 and had to submit to an audit to determine amounts owed, which were estimated to be greater that $50,000.
Hopefully, there won’t be a “second-ever prosecution” anytime soon…