Sources: U.S. Department of Labor; CP staff
The owner of an Oregon-based Westwind Concrete is nearing completion of a two-month prison sentence for lying to Labor Department Wage and Hour Division investigators about payment of $93,000 in back wages to 27 workers on a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-backed project, subject to Davis Bacon and Related Acts prevailing wage provisions.
Jeffery Hurliman assured Wage and Hour Division officials he would pay back wages per the findings of a 2014 investigation of Davis Bacon compliance at the HUD project in Tualatin, Ore., and later provided certifications he claimed were from Westwind employees attesting to having received payment. The Wage and Hour Office of Inspector General investigated after officials in the division’s Portland office noted proof of payment discrepancies. In addition to falsified certifications, officials found that when informed of the investigation, Hurliman offered employees money to lie to investigators.
A January 2017 deal with federal prosecutors saw him plead guilty to witness tampering and providing false statements to the government, both felonies. He will be on supervised release for three years following his mid-August prison exit, and potentially barred from obtaining future government contracts pending a Labor Department suit.
“The resolution of this case sends a clear message: the U.S. Department of Labor will continue to enforce the law to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules, and to ensure that workers are paid what they have legally earned,” says Portland Wage and Hour Division Director Thomas Silva. “We remain committed to educating employers, workers, and the public to improve compliance with federal labor laws across the board.”
The Davis Bacon and Related Acts require contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay their laborers and mechanics Secretary of Labor-determined prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits. The prime contractor is responsible for the compliance of subcontractors and lower-tier subcontractors on these projects.