A local, family-owned electrical business and its owner recently entered into a settlement with a Northern California labor-management committee stemming from allegations that the electrical company failed to pay prevailing wages on public works projects and other violations.

According to Solano County Superior Court records, the Northern California Electrical Construction Industry-Labor Management Cooperative Trust (NCECI-LMCT) filed an employment-related lawsuit against Vacaville-based Wulff Electric and its president, Rich Wulff, in January of 2008. The labor-management committee raised allegations that the company failed to pay prevailing wages on public works projects; failed to provide accurate and complete payroll records; failed to maintain required apprentice-journeyman ratios; failed to pay training fund contributions to apprenticeship programs; and failed to employ certified electricians and to maintain required trainee-certified electrician ratios.

According to a press release issued by the NCECI-LMCT, the two parties reached a settlement last month requiring Wulff Electric to pay a confidential sum of money to its workers and to the NCECI-LMCT.

As part of the settlement, Wulff Electric is prohibited from bidding on or being awarded a contract or subcontract on any public works projects statewide for 26 months, according to the NCECI-LMCT.

Under the agreement, Wulff Electric does not admit to any violations, nor does the NCECI-LMCT concede its

allegations lacked merit, according to their statement.

 The NCECI is a watchdog organization set up to "level the playing field" and rid the construction industry of contractors who attempt to take unfair advantage of workers, awarding agencies and taxpayers that fund public works projects, according to the release.

 "This settlement agreement -- including the provision that Wulff Electric will not work on any public works projects for 26 months -- is a serious blow to a local prominent contractor," said Andre Gardner, executive director for NCECI, in a statement. "Many of Wulff Electric's workers were unaware of the prevailing wage laws that protect worker rights," Gardner added in his statement.

 Wulff could not be reached and an attorney for him declined to comment.