Labor Dept. investigating pay practices of large builders

The Labor Department is investigating pay practices at several top home building companies, including Pulte, Lennar, and KB Home, hitting them with a broad demand for records that has led to complaints of regulatory overreach, according to the Wall Street Journal.

September 08, 2011
builders, home builders, labor department, investigation

The Labor Department is investigating pay practices at several top home building companies, hitting them with a broad demand for records that has led to complaints of regulatory overreach, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Recipients of the letters include Pulte, Lennar, D.R. Horton and KB Home. A Labor Department spokeswoman confirmed the investigation but declined to discuss details.

A copy of one letter, dated Aug. 1, said the department was opening a probe under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs matters such as overtime pay and limits on using teen workers.

The letter instructed the home builders to immediately turn over the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, pay rates and hours worked for all employees over the past two years. It asked the names of all contractors hired in the past year. The letter didn't allege any specific violations of law.

Many larger home builders, while acquiring land for homes and marketing them, entrust much of the construction to carpenters, electricians and others employed by contractors. The contractors rarely are unionized.

Unions have pressured companies such as Pulte to make improvements, including by filing lawsuits. Unions also say that the bigger home builders have an obligation to make sure their contractors are following labor laws.

For more information: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311190410340457655699128274299...

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