IR # 97-38
Friday, July 18, 1997

Rick Rice
Troy Swauger
(415) 972-8835

Public Works Contractor Debarred By DIR

SAN FRANCISCO--The California Department of Industrial Relations this week completed debarment actions against T. Silva Painting, Inc. for nine willful violations of California's prevailing wage laws, Acting Director John Duncan announced today. A stipulated agreement effective today precludes the company and one of its corporate officers from competing for or performing any public works contract as contractors or subcontractors in California for the next five years. Two other corporate officers are also debarred for the next three years.

"After numerous investigations spanning over 24 months, this contractor was found to consistently underpay its employees on a wide range of public works projects -- from the BART Colma extension in the Bay Area to the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center in Southern California," said Duncan.

Nine cases against the painting sub-contractor were investigated between April 1994 and May 1996 by the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), resulting in findings that led to initiation of debarment proceedings. The company's corporate officers admitted in a stipulation signed last week that they had willfully violated laws covering payment of prevailing wages and falsification of certified payroll records. In all, DLSE estimates that T. Silva Painting, Inc. employees were underpaid by over $500,000. Proceedings to recover these wages are in various stages of litigation.

"The intent of prevailing wage laws is to ensure that public works projects neither inflate or deflate the wages for crafts typically paid in a given area," Duncan said. "Such egregious abuse of prevailing wage laws is unconscionable and will not be tolerated."

The company, T. Silva Painting, Inc., and a principal of the company, Anthony Eduardo Silva (aka Antonio Eduardo Silva, aka Tony Silva, aka Antonio Eduardo Dasilva) face debarment for five years. A three year debarment also begins today for Natalia Rodrigues Silva and Manuel Cardosa Silva. During the period of debarment the company and these individuals shall be ineligible to bid on or accept any public works contract in California. The debarment shall also apply to any other contractor or subcontractor for which this company or any of these individuals act as a responsible managing employee, responsible managing officer or general partner.

T. Silva Painting was found to be in willful violation of Labor Code Section 1774, which guarantees that each worker on a project be paid the prevailing wage rate, and Labor Code Section 1776, requiring accurate, certified payroll records.

The sites of T. Silva Painting Inc. violations included: