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Redmond contractor fined over White City project

The state has fined a Deschutes County contractor who failed to pay prevailing wages for work done on Hillside Elementary School in White City.

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Friday ordered Hard Rock Concrete of Redmond, operated by Rocky Evans, to pay $13,600 in civil penalties for failing to pay workers fair wages for work done at the school in 2011. The company is also ineligible for public works contracts during the next three years.

BOLI has banned more than 90 firms from working on public projects because of wage violations.

The agency found Hard Rock Concrete intentionally failed to pay seven contractors $8,911.02 while working as a subcontractor on a public works project in Jackson County for Hillside Elementary School. The company also filed inaccurate certified payroll reports.

A spokesman for BOLI said the workers were paid the balance of the prevailing wage by general contractor Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co., of Bend.

Hard Rock opened its doors in August 2002, working on houses, sidewalks and driveways in residential projects, BOLI reported. The company has worked on as many as 15 public works projects, but they were smaller jobs and required no more than two additional hires.

Under prevailing-wage law, cement masons are paid $25.37 hourly with benefits equaling $13.11. Laborer 2 workers, who place or spread concrete, earn $24.25 hourly with benefits of $10.01; while Laborer 1 employees receive $22.62 hourly along with benefits of $8.70.

Instead of compensating employees with wages comparable to the task, they were paid for lesser duties.

"Hard Rock did a very poor job of maintaining records for the project," BOLI investigators wrote. "For instance, Evans testified to a loss or inability to provide a copy of the contract with Kirby Nagelhout, a copy of the contract with the company with which Hard Rock subcontracted to build the curbs, and a copy of his workers' time cards."

BOLI investigators allowed that Hard Rock was a small company and Evans was relatively inexperienced with having to determine proper classifications.

"Hard Rock has poor administrative capacity," BOLI reported. "Although Hard Rock had performed some public works projects, Evans had never previously had to concern himself about classification issues, because he was utilizing the services of only a few employees and because he was paying those employees at the higher (cement mason) rate."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.