Labor Bureau recovers lost wages
10 workers from Salem contractor get $20,000 from Pearl District project.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has secured more than $20,000 for 10 workers for a Salem contractor not paid wages to which they were entitled on a Pearl District park project.
The overtime and prevailing wage violations stem from work performed by Salem contractor Green Thumb Landscaping on The Fields Neighborhood Park in Portlands Pearl District. Green Thumb Landscaping was a subcontractor on the public works project.
During investigation, Green Thumb initially refused to provide investigators with documents necessary to determine the accuracy of the workers claims. The bureau subpoenaed Green Thumb to provide it with the material, including payroll records and contact information for potentially affected employees.
The wages recovered represent the latest unlawful practice from the contracting firm. The bureau has secured more than $70,000 in unpaid wages from Green Thumb Landscaping and Maintenance, Green Thumb Yard Maintenance Inc., Green Thumb LLC and Green Thumb and Maintenance Inc. for previous wage and hour violations.
"It's fundamentally unfair for a contractor to attempt to gain advantage by skirting Oregon law," says Brad Avakian, commissioner of labor and industries.
"Any employee who believes he or she was not paid the wage they're owed should contact our agency. We will investigate potential wage violations and ensure that other businesses have an equal shot at bidding on public projects."
The agency will now review the findings and determine whether its administrative prosecution unit will seek additional penalties or debarment, which could make the firm and its successors ineligible for public works contracts for up to three years. Currently, there are more than 80 businesses listed as ineligible for public works contracts.