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How and when should overtime wages be paid? If you cannot answer this question you may be in trouble.

It is a lack of knowledge on that very subject that has M.H. Electric paying more than $305k in back wages from at least 10 federally funded construction projects awarded in Hawaii from 2012 to 2014 by the Hawaii Air National Guard and the U.S. Departments of the Navy, Army and Veterans Affairs.

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires that contractors working on federally funded contracts pay workers one and one-half the base hourly rate for hours worked beyond the 40 hour per week threshold.

Instead of adhering to this requirement M.H. Electric sought to “bank” overtime hours to be used as sick or holiday pay or to fill in hours for weeks in which a worker worked below the 40 hours threshold.

The company then found themselves out of compliance with not only CWHSSA but the Davis-Bacon act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Combined with the non-compliance on wage payment the firm was found to have an improper ratio of experienced electricians to apprentices this was a true case of labor law ignorance.

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