Hawbaker Agrees to Pay $20 Million in Back Wages

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. has pleaded to and been sentenced for violations of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act and the federal Davis-Bacon Act.

The plea includes paying back more than $20 million in wages to more than 1,000 Pennsylvania workers. Hawbaker is one of the largest contractors to complete projects on behalf of the Commonwealth, receiving an estimated $1.7 billion in contracts between 2003 and 2018.

The company operates 16 aggregates plants.

The Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act and the Davis-Bacon Act were enacted to level the playing field and protect workers by ensuring that all contractors working on projects that receive state or federal funding pay the same wage rates, which are determined by state and federal agencies. Contractors are permitted to satisfy a portion of the required wage by providing so-called fringe benefits, such as health care and retirement contributions to employees.

This case was heard before Judge Pamela A. Ruest of the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.

Hawbaker noted in a statement it did not plead guilty to the charges. “Our company’s decision to plead no contest avoids protracted litigation, which could have jeopardized the livelihoods of our dedicated employees,” Hawbaker said in a statement. “We continue to believe that we followed all requirements regarding fringe benefits. The fringe benefit practices challenged by the Office of Attorney General were based upon advice provided by the company’s former attorneys.”

The company emphasized, “Hawbaker has always intended to properly pay all of its employees.”

“Ensuring workers get all the money owed them is a priority for the U.S. Department of Labor, and our partners in state government, when they act with courage and conviction as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has in this case, can help us secure more just outcomes for workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Contractors working on federally funded projects subject to the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts are required to pay prevailing hourly wages and fringe benefits.”

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