Thursday, February 07, 2002

What's the Buzz?

Contractor fined for wage infraction

        A Blue Ash electrical contractor has been assessed $334,701 in penalties for not complying with Ohio's Prevailing Wage Law, but whether the almost 100 workers who are due back wages see any money remains to be seen.

        Eagle Electrical System Inc., a unit of Minneapolis-based Bracknell Corp., was assessed the penalties by the Ohio Department of Commerce for failing to pay the prevailing wage on four electrical contracts at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Half the penalty represents back pay that the state calculates is due employees.

        But Bracknell was taken over by its lenders late last year after it defaulted on credit agreements, and the assets of Eagle Electrical were sold to a new Louisville-based company that is operating as Eagle Services Inc. of Cincinnati LLC.

        Michael Hawkins, attorney for the new owner, says it isn't liable for the penalty. Matthew D. Kolbinsky of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which initiated the complaint on behalf of the nonunion employees, says he's undeterred. The Ohio Attorney General's office can file suit to collect the penalties.

— Mike Boyer

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