Employees of a California trucking company that had contracts with the U.S. Postal Service have had almost $2 million in pension benefits restored as the result of a Department of Labor probe. The company and its executives have been barred from government contracts.
Investigators from the department’s San Francisco office found that Lange Trucking Inc., based in Oakland, failed to fully fund the 401(k) accounts of 515 drivers. Lange agreed to pay $500,000 of the unpaid benefits. Hoovestol Inc., an Eagan, Minn., firm that acquired Lange, voluntarily agreed to make up the remaining $1.48 million in retirement benefits owed the employees.
The Labor Department said Hoovestol has also corrected recordkeeping problems, ensured future payments would be made on time, posted wage determinations at the worksite and made contract information available to employees.
Lange, which has a fleet of 170 trucks, and its officers, William A. Langenhuizen president; William H. Langenhuizen vice president, Antoinette Langenhuizen, secretary treasurer; Robert Langehuizen, vice president; and Lisa Kulak, vice president of finance, have been barred from eligibility for government contracts for three years.
They were found in violation of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, which requires government contractors and subcontractor to pay workers no less than prevailing local wages and fringe benefits.
“Contractors that do business with the federal government have an obligation to abide by the law and pay their employees the required contractual rates and benefits,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a statement. “Restoring the pension benefits of these workers and debarring this employer illustrate the department's commitment to vigorous enforcement of government contracting laws.…”