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Pennsylvania Contractor Must Pay More Than $20 Million to Workers in Unpaid Wages

Doug Kerr, via Wikipedia/Creative Commons 2.0

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. pleaded no contest to charges of theft of worker pay and must pay 1,267 workers restitution that amounts to over $20 million in unpaid wages. Hawbaker Inc. pleaded to four felony counts of "Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received" related to violating state prevailing-wage-laws and the federal Davis-Bacon Act. The contractor was also sentenced to five years of probation.

Hawbaker Inc. fraudulently funneled workers' prevailing wage retirement funds to the retirement accounts for all Hawbaker employees. This included the owners and company executives. Charges also included stealing prevailing wage workers' health and welfare funds. The company inflated its costs by millions each year and claimed credit for costs that were prohibited to disguise the scheme.

“A month ago I met with some of the men and women who had their wages and retirements stolen by Hawbaker — and I told them that we will do everything we can to get them every cent they are owed under the law. A few minutes ago, I was able to tell them that we made good on that promise,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. has received an estimated $1.7 billion in State contracts between 2003 and 2018 and is one of the largest contractors in Pennsylvania.

“I’ve heard directly from contractors that follow the law that this enforcement helps their business, and exposing these flagrant examples of wage theft and misclassification will deter employers from engaging in the same illegal schemes. That’s why my office and our partners in law enforcement are committed to this work,” Shapiro continued.

The restitution amount makes this the biggest prevailing wage criminal case in United States history.

Read full press release at Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro

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