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PENNSYLVANIA PREVAILING WAGE APPEALS BOARD v. STEVE BLACK (11/05/76)

decided: November 5, 1976.

PENNSYLVANIA PREVAILING WAGE APPEALS BOARD, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
STEVE BLACK, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board in case of In Re: Appeal of Steve Black, Inc., dated March 12, 1976.

COUNSEL

Norman I. White, with him C. Grainger Bowman and McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for appellant.

David A. Ody, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 23]

Steve Black, Inc. (appellant) appeals from an order of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (Board), dated March 12, 1976, which affirmed a decision of the Secretary of Labor and Industry (Secretary), dated November 26, 1975. The Secretary's decision held that the appellant had intentionally violated Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act*fn1 (Act), 43 P.S. § 165-5.

The appellant, a mechanical contractor having its principal place of business at R.D. No. 1, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, had contracts to do the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work at the Central Senior High School in York, the plumbing and heating work at the Big Spring Middle School in Newville, and the pipelaying work at the New Junior High School in the Central Dauphin School District.

On June 4, 1974, a field inspector for the Prevailing Wage Division of the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) conducted a "routine checkup" at the Big Spring project and learned that several of the appellant's plumbers employed there were not receiving the prevailing minimum wage. This finding was followed by audits of the appellant's payroll records which indicated that not only had it failed to pay the prevailing minimum wage on the Big Spring

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 24]

    project, but that it had also underpaid its workmen on the Central Senior High School and the New Junior High School projects. Hearings were held on April 7, 1975 and August 4, 1975, after which the Secretary found the appellant guilty of intentionally violating Section 5 of the Act, 43 P.S. § 165-5, and ordered it to pay the aggrieved employes a total of $2,428.12 in back wages.*fn2 The Secretary also ordered the General Counsel of the Department to notify all public bodies that no contract could be awarded to the appellant for a period of three years from the date of notice, such action being required whenever the Secretary finds that a contractor has intentionally violated the Act. Section 11(e) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 165-11(e). The Board affirmed the Secretary's decision and the appellant then appealed to this Court, reasserting three contentions: (1) that this proceeding should be dismissed because it was brought pursuant to Department regulations which had not been properly promulgated in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth Documents Law*fn3 (Law); (2) that this proceeding should be dismissed because the Secretary does not have the authority to institute independently any such investigations as were instituted here; and (3) that the record does not support the findings of the Secretary (as recommended by the Hearing Examiner and as affirmed by the Board) that the appellant

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 25]

    corporation was guilty of an intentional failure to pay its workmen the prevailing wage rates.

Section 44 of the Administrative Agency Law,*fn4 71 P.S. § 1710.44, limits our scope of review to determining whether or not the "Findings of Facts" are supported by substantial evidence, whether or not an error of law was committed, or whether or not the appellant's constitutional rights were violated. Williams v. Civil Service Commission, 457 Pa. 470, 327 A.2d 70 (1974); ...


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