2-8 Restitution For Underpayment Of Wages

2-8 Restitution for Underpayment of Wages.

Where underpayments of wages have occurred, the employer will be required to pay wage restitution to the affected employees. Wage restitution must be paid promptly in the full amounts due, less permissible and authorized deductions. All wages paid to laborers and mechanics for work performed on the project, including wage restitution, must be reported on a certified payroll report.

  1. Notification to the Employer/Prime contractor. The contract administrator will notify the employer and/or prime contractor in writing of any underpayments that are found during payroll or other reviews. The contract administrator will describe the underpayments and provide instructions for computing and documenting the restitution to be paid. The employer/ prime contractor is allowed 30 days to correct the underpayments. Note that the prime contractor is responsible to the contract administrator for ensuring that restitution is paid. If the employer is a subcontractor, the subcontractor will usually make the computations and restitution payments and furnish the required documentation through the prime contractor.

    The contract administrator may communicate directly with a subcontractor when the underpayments are plainly evident and the subcontractor is cooperative. It is best to work through the prime contractor when the issues are complex, when there are significant underpayments and/or the subcontractor is not cooperative. In all cases, the subcontractor must ensure that the prime contractor receives a copy of the required corrective documentation.
  2. Computing wage restitution. Wage restitution is simply the difference between the wage rate paid to each affected employee and the wage rate required on the wage decision for all hours worked where underpayments occurred. The difference in the wage rates is called the adjustment rate. The adjustment rate times the number of hours involved equals the gross amount of restitution due. You may also compute wage restitution by calculating the total amount of Davis-Bacon wages earned and subtracting the total amount of wages paid. The difference is the amount of back wages due.
  3. Correction certified payrolls. The employer will be required to report the restitution paid on a correction certified payroll. The correction payroll will reflect the period of time for which restitution is due (for example, Payrolls #1 through #6; or a beginning date and ending date). The correction payroll will list each employee to whom restitution is due and their work classification; the total number of work hours involved (daily hours are usually not applicable for wage restitution); the adjustment wage rate (the difference between the required wage rate and the wage rate paid); the gross amount of restitution due; deductions and the net amount actually paid. A properly signed Statement of Compliance must accompany the correction payroll.

    HUD no longer requires the signature of the employee on the correction payroll to evidence employee receipt of restitution payment. In addition, except in the most extraordinary cases, HUD no longer requires employers to submit copies of restitution checks (certified, cashiers, canceled or other), or employee-signed receipts or waivers.
  4. Review of correction CPR. The contract administrator will review the correction certified payroll to ensure that full restitution was paid. The prime contractor shall be notified in writing of any discrepancies and will be required to make additional payments, if needed, documented on a correction certified payroll within 30 days.
  5. Unfound workers. Sometimes, wage restitution cannot be paid to an affected employee because, for example, the employee has moved and can’t be located. After wage restitution has been paid to all of the workers who could be located, the employer must submit a list of any workers who could not be found and paid (i.e., unfound workers) providing their names, Social Security Numbers, last known addresses and the gross amount due. In such cases, at the end of the project the prime contractor will be required to place in a deposit or escrow account an amount equal to the total gross amount of restitution that could not be paid because the employee(s) could not be located. The contract administrator will continue attempts to locate the unfound workers for 3 years after the completion of the project. After 3 years, any amount remaining in the account for unfound workers will be credited and/or forwarded by the contract administrator to HUD.

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