Between 2005 and 2008 Goyette and Associates litigated and ultimately successfully settled a class action law suit against CALTRANS, and against several employers of tugboat captains and deck hands in a dispute over prevailing wages and overtime pay for work performed on the various Bay Area bridge seismic retrofit projects. The case involved many complicated factual and legal issues, including the rights to prevailing wages on public works projects, the right to overtime pay under California wage law, the obligation by an awarding body to properly advertise prevailing wage rates and the associated obligation of contractors to pay such wage rates, and the roll and function of the employees’ union in such matters. The class action law suit initially arose because a group of between 300 and 500 tugboat captains and deckhands who were performing work on the various seismic retrofit projects on bridges throughout the Bay Area were not receiving prevailing wages and overtime pay for their work. Unlike other employees working in other trades on the seismic retro fit projects, the tugboat captains and deckhands were not receiving prevailing wages on these public works projects, nor were they receiving overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 8 hours in a work day.
G&A initially met with representative tugboat captains and deck hands and then engaged in a detailed analysis of the state law applicable to this prevailing wage issue. Despite the fact that the prevailing wage law was somewhat unsettled for the projects at issue (since only more recent directive from the State Department of Industrial Relations provided clarification on which trades were covered under public works projects), G&A went ahead and filed a class action law suit on behalf of the affected tugboat captains and deckhands.  After several year of engaging in various steps in the class action litigation, and after Intervening and participating in  a related Petition for a Writ of Mandate filed by the employee’s union, the dispute ultimately went to mediation though the California Court of Appeal and settled for $5.2 million. Since the time this class action was litigated and resolved, tugboat captains and deckhands now properly receive prevailing wages at the appropriate wage rate and overtime pay for work above 8 hours a day on all similar public works projects in California.