On November 5, 2021, Maryland’s Office of Attorney General announced that Sergio Blanco – owner of drywall subcontractor BAC Contractors, Inc. – had pleaded guilty to stealing wages from an employee on a state prevailing wage project. The District Court for Baltimore City sentenced Blanco to six months in jail with all but 50 days suspended, followed by three years of supervised probation. Blanco prepaid $50,000 in restitution for those workers his company underpaid in violation of Maryland’s prevailing wage laws. Blanco also participated in a testimonial video produced by the Office of Attorney General warning contractors of the consequences of violating prevailing wage laws. That video is available here.
The case arose in 2019 when a worker on a Morgan State University project in Baltimore reached out to FFC-MAR and the local carpenters union, alleging that Blanco was forcing workers covered under the state’s prevailing wage law to kick back a portion of their wages to Blanco. The worker alleged that Blanco required him to kick back $200 per week as a condition of continued employment. Representatives of FFC-MAR reached out to the Office of Attorney General and met to discuss the worker’s allegations against Blanco and BAC Contractors.
In a press statement concerning the case, Attorney General Brian Frosh warned that “[w]hen employers steal wages from their employees, they commit a crime.” He urged all employees of Blanco or BAC Contractors who were required to pay a rebate out of their wages while working on the Morgan State University project to contact his office to collect restitution.