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Labor Department hits Army contractors for unpaid overtime

January 13, 2011 |  3:11 pm

Three military contractors, including one from Huntington Beach, have paid more than $1 million in back overtime pay to 865 employees at Ft. Irwin, the Mojave Desert army training center.

The U.S. Department of Labor said it concluded an investigation of CALNET Inc. and two subcontractors that provide language, intelligence and information technology services at the San Bernardino County desert warfare facility. The workers were not paid properly for "on-call" time, when they were required to be instantly available to perform their duties.

"Contractors and subcontractors hired to perform services for the U.S. military have a clear obligation to comply thoroughly and consistently with federal law," said Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis. "As we do with all other employers, we will hold these businesses accountable for paying their workers for all hours, including any overtime, spent on the job."

The companies are CALNET of Reston, Va., Acclaim Technical Services of Huntington Beach and McNeil Technologies of Springfield, Va. The three violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not property paying workers for on-call time, resulting in overtime pay violations, the department said.

The three contractors also failed to maintain proper records of all hours worked by employees.

On-call time must be paid when conditions are so restrictive or the calls to duty so frequent that a worker cannot use the time for personal purposes, the department said.

The three companies paid a total of $1,060,554 in back wages covering October 2008 to October 2010.

-- Marc Lifsher