A local federal subcontractor cleared the air with PNC’s Don Sulat on investigation results from the US Department of Labor, which reports that the subcontractor “short-changed” their employees.
Here are the details of the story.
Investigation results from U.S. DOL say that Pacific Pest Control did not give full wages and benefits to eight workers, who provided pest control services at Anderson Airforce base as well as Guam’s Naval installations.
In a media release, U.S. DOL says that Pacific Pest Control “violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act for failing to pay affected workers the correct wage rates set by federal law for their services.”
To clear the air, Phillip Hagen, Pacific Pest Control Operations Manager, told PNC what happened.
Hagen says that the investigation started last April, and was concluded in June of last year. Hagen adds that the aforementioned law requires them to pay their employees an extra $4.60 on top of their hourly pay while working within the fence. He says that the company does pay their employee’s medical and leave; however, the total amount did not add up to the $4.60 required.
Hagen added, “Based on our math we thought we got it right, but we didn’t so DOL came in and said ‘hey your addition on how you calculated your wage benefits is off.’ So of course, once they let us know that, we worked with them to correct that. So although they were getting their leave hours, they’re getting their healthcare, it’s just the dollar amount didn’t equal the $4.60, so that’s what we had to adjust.”
U.S. DOL also said that the Pest Control company “violated the overtime pay requirements under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act when they based overtime calculation on the lower, incorrect wage rates.”
In response, Hagen said that, based on their understanding, because at the time, the 3-4 employees affected, were under probation and were not yet Guam EPA-certified pest control technicians then they were not going to be paid the full amount from the contract.
Hagan further said, “So we were paying them below the Pest Control salary because they were not certified at the time, they were still under probation, but the Department of Labor came back and said ‘because there’s only one classification for Pest Control, even if they’re not certified Pest Control Technicians through EPA, or they have no certifications, we would still have to pay them that wage.’ So we were not aware of that at the time and once we were aware of that we worked with DOL and went back through those employees”
US DOL says that the total amount in back pay and wages owed was $17,164.
Reporting for the Pacific News Center.
I’m Don Sulat.
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