Illegal activities of Southern Bosses for the week ending on Friday, October 13
Three federal workplace safety and health investigations that followed the April 2023 death of a worker at a Tulsa manufacturing facility found the company exposed employees to struck-by hazards and identified 36 violations, including 25 serious safety violations of U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
In its initial inspection, OSHA found an employee suffered fatal injuries during pressure testing of a heat exchanger. With pressure at 2,600 psi, one of the exchangers’ plugs blew off and struck the employee. OSHA determined the company violated the general duty clause for not keeping its employees safe. Further inspections at the facility identified 25 serious safety violations related to the following hazards:
Failing to keep exit routes free from obstruction.
Allowing a barrel of flammable chemical to not be grounded and bonded.
Failing to have an energy-control program or provide related training.
Allowing the use of powered industrial trucks, slings and lifting devices that were not in safe operating condition.
Failing to install required machine guards.
Not ensuring electrical equipment was maintained properly and in safe operating condition.
Failing to provide flame-proof shields or screens and protective eye wear to welders and their assistants.
The agency has proposed a combined total of $275,890 in penalties for the three inspections.
Accurate Manufacturing Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found LOOPX LLC, a residential contractor specializing in pool construction denied 25 workers overtime wages by paying them straight-time rates for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek. The division also learned the employer misclassified three of those employees as independent contractors, denying them of overtime eligibility and other federal benefits and protections.
The agency recovered $56,862 in back wages to 25 workers
“Construction workers often work long hours in tough conditions, and they deserve to be paid all of the wages they have earned. This includes overtime premiums for hours over 40 per workweek,” explained Wage Hour District Director Troy Mouton in New Orleans. “We encourage all employers to review their pay practices and to reach out to the Wage and Hour Division if they have questions about their obligations.”
The U.S. Department of Labor has debarred a federal subcontractor on Guam from seeking federally funded contracts after the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer shortchanged 29 construction workers at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz in Dededo and gave investigators falsified records.
The action comes after division investigators determined Danes Construction Corp. in Yigo violated federal regulations governing the employment of workers on projects supported by federal funds. Specifically, the division found the employer did the following:
Paid ironworkers less than their required prevailing minimum wage rate of $14.84 per hour.
Failed to pay temporary, non-immigrant workers from the Philippines for all hours worked.
Did not record hours worked or wages paid correctly.
Paid workers straight-time rates for overtime hours over 40 in a workweek.
Willfully submitted false payroll records, knowing they masked their recordkeeping violations and failure to pay required wages.
The investigation led to the recovery of $106,446 in unpaid wages, including $10,549 in damages, for the 29 affected workers who were building housing units at the base.
A 2015 division investigation found Danes Construction violated federal regulations by paying employees straight-time rates for overtime hours worked. The division recovered $8,193 in back wages for 17 affected workers in that case.
The employer’s repeated and willful violations of federal regulations led the department to assess the contractor with $6,750 in civil money penalties and exclude them from submitting bids for federally funded projects for three years.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has entered into a conciliation agreement with Daikin Industries to resolve alleged race-based hiring discrimination affecting Black applicants at its Verona, VA facility.
Pursuant to the agreement, Daikin Industries will pay $100,000 in back wages and interest to 98 Black applicants. Daikin will also extend three job offers to identified class members.
A routine compliance review by OFCCP found Daikin Industries LTD discriminated against 98 Black applicants for assembler positions at its Daikin Applied Staunton facility from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.
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