Warmer weather often brings increased building activity, says the state Department of Labor (DOL). As a result, Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer reminds those seeking bids for public works projects to first check the state's Debarment List before awarding any contracts.

According to Palmer, companies failing to pay prevailing wage or overtime rates earned while engaged in public works projects face stiff penalties: including debarment from bidding on future contracts. The agency's Debarment List contains the names of companies and individuals that have been denied the right to bid on contracts in Connecticut, and also notes the period of time for which the party has been debarred.

Under 31"53 of the Connecticut General Statutes, a debarment can be levied for a period of three years or for an indefinite period of time whenever the agency determines that a company is guilty of payroll fraud and related improprieties, Palmer says.

The agency urges those awarding contracts for construction projects to consult the list periodically.