Federal Wage Determination for Climber Working under Federal Contract

Discussion in 'Climbing Towers' started by dirtyrealist, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. dirtyrealist

    dirtyrealist First Time Poster

    I know a tower climber who is at best being treated poorly, but more likely is the victim of illegal activity. I'd appreciate any input from the forum to guide me on how to help this guy out.

    1. Tower work was done under contract for a Federal agency.
    2. Climber was hired as a subcontractor rather than as an employee. From what the climber told me, I don't think the climber's work qualifies for subcontractor status. For example, the climber was paid on an hourly basis, worked under direct supervision of the primary contractor, and there's no written contract. Furthermore, the climber does not climb for any other company.
    3. Currently climber has NOT been paid for work completed over 8 months ago.
    4. Climber has been working for this same contractor/company off and on for several years.
    5. Climber has always been paid by cash or check (I think primarily cash) but has never received a 1099 Misc or W2 form.
    6. Climber holds no license and although I believe he's "safety conscious" and has had some onsite safety training, I don't believe he's received any training by an OSHA certified instructor.
    7. Climber has been told he's covered under contractor's insurance, but given that he's NOT an employee and has never seen the insurance policy, I doubt he could successfully make a claim if injured on a tower site.

    1. What is the Federal Wage Determination for a tower climber?
    2. If a climber legally meets subcontractor status (rather than employee status) and does not have any employees, does he still qualify to receive at a minimum the equivalent to the Federal Wage Determination?
    3. What are the typical "legal" subcontracting arrangements for a climber (e.g., licenses, safety training, insurance, etc.)
    4. Under the facts laid out above, it looks to me like there are multiple courses of action this climber could take, but my first priority is to get him paid. What's the most effective course of action to accomplish that?
  2. spudw

    spudw Friend of the Community

    It doesn't matter what he was hired as. You said he's paid by the hour so he's an employee and should get a W2. The law is very clear on that.

    If the company had a prevailing wage contract then he gets the wage for the position he was working as such as a steel erector. There is no tower climber wage.

    The easiest way to find your answers and have him collect what is due him is if he contacted the department of labor in the state he worked in and they can direct him further. They're very helpful.

    Or you can start here http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/Misclassification/index.htm

    There might be a number of opinions you'll receive here but the DOL will give you the law.

    There no "legal" subcontracting arrangements for a climber.

    Either he has his own legally established business or he doesn't.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Industry Observer

    I've seen this before myself. Most of the time the the money rakers offer these jobs as salary. Or other flim flam. Beware companies in and around D.C.

    I hate to be the one to say it. Tower workers need to unionize. I have no love for unions , but tower guys are being screwed nation wide.

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