84 Lumber and two building contractors have asked the California state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to conduct a hearing regarding the $1.5 million in back pay and fines that the state labor commissioner ordered they pay in connection with a housing project at the University of California-Davis.

Brown Construction filed its request on June 21, Russell/Thompson Inc. on June 24, and 84 Lumber on July 2, a spokesperson for the labor commissioner's office told ProSales late Monday. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has 90 days to hold a hearing after the request is turned in, and the spokesperson said it's possible the division will hold a joint hearing rather than three separate meetings.

84, Brown and Russell/Thompson have been ordered to pay $1.3 million in wages and $200,000 in fines. Brown was the prime contractor for the Tercero Student Housing Project at UC-Davis. 84 is listed as the subcontractor, and it in turn hired Russell/Thompson as a second-tier subcontractor. (Story)

"Our investigation uncovered serious wage violations in this case," Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet said in a June 10 announcement. "We believe the employer intentionally underpaid its workers." A total of 74 employees were affected by Russell/Thompson's failure to pay prevailing wages, the statement said. It also said Russell/Thompson falsified records and "failed to pay overtime and misclassified workers by identifying them as lower paying positions rather than higher rate skilled positions that they worked."

While technically it is the prime contractor that must deliver the the back pay and fines, it can do so by withholding money that was to be delivered to the subcontractor, 84 Lumber, which in turn can do the same thing to Russell/Thompson.