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Monett contractor found guilty of prevailing wage violation

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Employees of Monett-based Alexander's Masonry LLC, who worked on construction of the Seneca High School gymnasium, are due more than $67,000, according to the Missouri Labor Department.

The department conducted a wage investigation of the company after an anonymous complaint, and found that Alexander's was in violation of the prevailing wage law for not paying the appropriate wages to 16 of its workers.

The company was hired as a subcontractor by the project's general contractor, Joplin-based Dalton Killinger Construction Co., to complete the brick work on the gymnasium. Because it was a project benefiting the public and paid for wholly or partially out of public funds, the project is a public works project requiring those working on it to be paid the prevailing wage rates.

According to the MLD's investigation, several of the workers were paid as general laborers at $10 an hour, as opposed to the $40 an hour they should have received under the occupational title of brick layer and stone mason.

"As a general contractor, we rely on companies to do the right thing and when they don't, the state is there to hold them accountable," said Chuck Killinger, Dalton Killinger president, in a news release.

In addition to the misclassification, Alexander's required its workers to endorse some of their paychecks back to the company. By doing this, the company was able to provide the general contractor certified payroll reports with pay stubs reflecting the payment of the appropriate wages but without actually paying the workers all of their wages.

"This is the most egregious type of violation," said Larry Rebman, MLD director. "When someone pays workers with public funds and then expects those workers to give the money back - it's wrong and it will be stopped."

Some workers have received checks in the mail while others have yet to claim their owed wages. The total due to these workers is $67,014 and is being paid by Alexander's.

The MLD has received 436 prevailing wage complaints in fiscal year 2010 and collected more than $546,000 in restitution.[[In-content Ad]]

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