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Bensenville company to pay almost $400K in back wages

BENSENVILLE — A northwest suburban construction company has agreed to pay workers nearly $400,000 in back wages and damages after a federal investigation.

An investigation by the U.S. Labor Department found that Norwood Commercial Contractors Inc., a commercial construction contractor based in Bensenville, misclassified employees, including carpenters, electricians and painters, as independent contractors and denied them proper compensation, the agency said.

Many employees were not compensated for overtime or travel, according to the statement. The company also reduced the number of hours worked when processing payroll.

Norwood Commercial Contractors has agreed to pay 96 workers $395,465 in back wages and liquidated damages, and will designate a compliance officer as liaison with the agency’s Wage and Hour Division.

“We often find misclassification in the construction industry,” Thomas Gauza, the agency’s district director, said in the statement.

“This investigation should send a clear message to other employers to evaluate their pay practices and to ensure that they are in compliance with federal labor laws,” Gauza said.

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