"It shocks the conscience that these workers were paid at 20 percent below the required rates and most of them were not paid at all for more than half the time they worked," said Omar Vincent Melehy, lead counsel at Melehy & Associates, an employment law firm that focuses on helping workers recover unpaid wages.
The case stems from a 2011 federal contract for renovations to the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse in Washington, D.C. The project's main contractor hired a subcontractor, C.R. Calderon Construction, Inc., for drywall, ceiling and other work.
Calderon Construction then hired another subcontractor, Jacinto Construction, Inc., to perform work. The renovation contract required that workers be paid prevailing wages – $33.38 per hour for carpenters, $32.50 for finishers.
Over the four-day trial, Melehy called 15 witnesses whose testimony established that Jacinto Construction crews were performing work without being paid because C.R. Calderone Construction did not pay Jacinto Construction enough to compensate the workers.
Workers repeatedly complained "about not being paid, but nothing came of their complaints," Judge Howell wrote in a Dec. 22, 2016 opinion.
According to the opinion, Jacinto Construction laborers were directed to begin work in early April 2011 before the company signed a subcontract with Calderon Construction and without discussing contract prices.
Jacinto Construction's owner, Jacinto Cespedes, testified that he later signed a subcontract without fully understanding the project's scope because he could not read English.
Calderon Construction, Jacinto Construction, the companies' owners and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America were held liable by Judge Howell.
Judge Howell's order called for the workers to receive unpaid wages and overtime ranging from $4,157 to $33,416.
For more information about this case and Melehy & Associates, call (301) 587-6364 or go to www.melehylaw.com
Media Contact: Omar Vincent Melehy, (301) 587-6364
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SOURCE Melehy & Associates LLC