SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) recent announcement reminded prime contractors on public works projects about the consequences of hiring subcontractors who intentionally skirt the law by failing to pay prevailing wages. According to Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Labor Commissioner Julie Su "has reinvigorated public works enforcement in the state," resulting in three public works contractors, B.A. Marble & Granite, Inc. of North Hollywood, Phoenix Floors of Orange and Johnson Business Holdings, doing business as Production Plumbing of Rancho Santa Margarita, paying more than $1,821,000 in wages and penalties due to deliberate violations affecting 94 employees. The public works projects included those at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Global Green Generational Charter School in Pacoima and Saddleback Community College in Orange County. The California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC), representing hundreds of contractors throughout California, welcomes the Commissioner's and DIR's continued, and yet intensified focus, on perpetrators on all construction projects, including public works projects.
In response to the DIR's May 7, 2013, announcement, Brad Diede, Executive Director, CALPASC, issued the following comments:
"When hiring subcontractors, prime contractors need to be wary of exceedingly low bids or other evidence of a contractor's inability to comply with the law.
"In the case of B.A. Marble & Granite, Inc., the contractor's license has expired and three contracting business of the partners have licenses that have expired, were suspended or became inactive. If B.A. Marble & Granite, Inc. doesn't have the assets to pay the fines assessed by the Commissioner, the prime contractor will be jointly and severally liable for these amounts.
"This announcement, coming on the heels of the DIR's April 25 news release about obtaining settlements of more than $610,000 in wage assessments and penalties from four prime contractors on public works projects, demonstrates the fortified efforts of the agency."
The following comments are attributed to Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California (PHCC) Executive Vice President Tracy Threlfall:
"PHCC and legitimate plumbing contractors across the state appreciate this effort by the Labor Commissioner. Unfortunately, by the time the Labor Commissioner becomes involved, the damage to workers, their families and the projects has already been done and, in many cases, the penalties, wages and other awards are never paid.
"It is imperative that awarding bodies and general contractors scrutinize subcontractors before hiring them and keep in mind there are compliant contractors ready and willing to do the work."
The following comment is attributed to Northern California Tile Industry Labor Management Cooperation Committee (NC Tile Industry LMCC) Compliance Officer Anthony Narducci:
"The NC Tile Industry LMCC applauds the efforts of the Labor Commissioner to level the playing field in the construction industry and send a strong message to contractors to obey the labor code."
SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)