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Tyndall contractor pays back wages after federal investigation


TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Coqui Disposal Services LLC – a disposal and janitorial service company and federal contractor at Tyndall Air Force Base has paid $22,335 in back wages to 46 employees for violating requirements of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA).  

WHD investigators found that Coqui violated the SCA by failing to pay janitorial employees the increased prevailing wage rates required after the contract renewed for the work they performed, officials wrote in a news release. 

“When contractors and subcontractors receive federal funds to provide services for the government, they must comply with all applicable laws, including ensuring employees receive required wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “The Division provides a wide variety of compliance assistance tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and employees understand their rights.”

Dave Otano, the CEO of Coqui, issued a statement about the case Wednesday:

“We here at Coqui Disposal Services, LLC would like to respond on news reported this morning regarding our company.  

We have numerous Government contracts around the country, and we take great care to make sure that we are following all Federal requirements to include the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA).

With this Contract, the previous Contractor could no longer service the contract, so we were requested to take it over.  We had what is known as a bridge contract. During this contract, there were many MOD’s (changes to contract) that were put in place. The last MOD we did, in February of 2018, we bid the contract with the old Davis Bacon Act amount for wages. This oversight was not discovered until June of 2018. We worked closely with contracting at Tyndall to correct this as soon as we found out. We immediately started paying the correct wage and continued working with Tyndall on correcting the previous months wages.

At no time did Coqui Disposal Services, LLC intentionally not pay our employees what was due to them. We were working very diligently with Contracting at Tyndall to correct the back wages. A complaint was made by a previous employee to the Department of Labor and an investigation started.

The Department of Labor found that we did owed back wages from February to June but determined that we did not intentionally mislead any of our employees. We were not assessed any fines and payment of all back wages were made immediately. At that time the case was closed.”

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