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October 23, 2006
Firm Pays Back Wages to Post-Katrina Guards

Corporate Security Solutions Inc., a security guard service company, has paid $375,754 in back wages after the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division accused the company of failing to compensate its security guards the required prevailing wage rate or appropriate overtime.

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The company was responsible for securing trailers awaiting delivery to homeowners in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Wage and Hour investigators said that the company failed to pay the prevailing wage required under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and failed to pay time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek as required by the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA). The investigation period covered work performed by the company from December 2005 to April 2006.

"Workers must be paid the legally required wage rate," said Cynthia Watson regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division's Southwest Region. "The agency has stepped up enforcement in the region to ensure that federal contractors comply with applicable labor standards laws."

Under the SCA, contractors on federal contracts over $2,500 must pay their service employees no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits prevailing in the locality. The CWHSSA requires that federal contractors pay their employees time and one-half the basic rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Contractors that fail to comply with these requirements may have their contract payments withheld until all workers are properly paid.

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