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Wage violations, false payrolls mean Bonney Lake firm banned from bidding on public construction projects

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Nov. 27, 2018 #18-031

Tumwater – A Bonney Lake construction firm and its owner are permanently banned from bidding or working on public projects in Washington as the result of a recent settlement with the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) over wage violations and false reporting of payroll records.

I&C Northwest and owner Jim Lingnaw also agreed to pay more than $200,000 in back wages and penalties for the violations. The company did pipe insulation work on 14 schools and a warehouse across Western Washington in 2015 and 2016. The firm will repay $153,000 in wages to nine employees, each of whom worked on several of the projects.

L&I cited the company last year for the unpaid wages and for false reporting of payroll records. Under the settlement, reached recently, Lingnaw agreed to pay $1,000 a month in penalties for the next four years and is barred from being involved with his son’s companies should they work on public projects.

"The citations are based on I&C’s repeated wage violations despite L&I’s efforts to educate the company on following the prevailing wage law,” said Jim Christensen, Prevailing Wage Program manager for L&I. “We’ve been investigating the company since 2014."

The schools I&C worked on include one high school, four middle schools, and nine elementary schools. The schools are in Bellevue, Clover Park, Mercer Island, North Thurston, Tacoma, Tahoma, Tumwater, Seattle, and Snoqualmie Valley school districts. The company also performed work on a warehouse for the Central Kitsap School District.

"I&C is one of the worst examples of a contractor taking advantage of workers, public agencies, taxpayers and fellow contractors,” said Christensen, who has more than two decades of experience handling cases of this type. “It is a privilege to build public works projects, not a way to collect taxpayers’ money and stiff workers on the wages they’re owed."

The state’s prevailing wage law is triggered when construction projects use public funds. It covers workers on projects such as schools, roads, and buildings. L&I enforces the law, which protects workers from substandard earnings and preserves local wage standards. The law also ensures contractors have a level playing field when bidding on public projects.

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For media information: Matthew Erlich, Public Affairs, 360-902-6508.
Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa)

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