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Construction companies to pay $54K in back wages owed to workers

The two firms were working on a roofing project at Camp Ripley.

Two construction companies have agreed to pay back wages totaling $54,000 to workers involved in a state-funded project in 2018 and 2019.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) says it has reached an agreement with Azure Construction Inc. of Detroit Lakes and Western Products Inc. of Moorhead.

Both companies were involved in a roof replacement project at the Minnesota National Guard's Camp Ripley, with the DLI saying Azure "misclassified workers" in the project that resulted in them being paid less than the prevailing-wage rate for the work they carried out.

The company is paying out $35,727.08 in back wages to nine workers, ranging from $413.70 to $6,597.05. It will also pay a $8,000 fine for failing to maintain adequate employee records.

Western Products did the same, and has agreed to pay $18,779.09 in back wages owed to 11 workers.

As the DLI explains, prevailing wage is the minimum employers must pay their employees working on state-funded projects.

The DLI is responsible for setting the prevailing wage rates, which it says are designed to be comparable to the wages paid for similar work in the county where the project is happening.

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