Criminal Charges Filed For Alleged Violations Of Indiana Common Construction Wage Act

Not only can an employer face civil charges for not complying with state and federal laws regarding employees’ wages, they can also face criminal charges.  As was the case for David Roark of D. Roark Drywall LLC, an Indianapolis drywall contractor in 2013.  Within certain industries there will be specific mandates regarding hours, breaks, and wages. The Indiana Common Construction Wage Act mandates wages for construction workers.[1]

The contractor was indicted for two counts of forgery, one count of theft, and five misdemeanor counts of common construction wage violation.[2]  In 2010 Roark was awarded the contracting bid for the Barton Tower apartments downtown, estimated at $7 million, from the Indianapolis Housing Authority.[3]    Because this project was a publicly financed project under the terms of the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act, there were certain minimum wages the contractor had to pay his employees.  Specifically, Roark was to pay at least $28.09 an hour along with $11.82 in fringe benefits.[4]  However, as alleged Roark only paid his employees $10 an hour along with pressuring his employees to report to the general contractor Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. that Roark had paid them the full amount.[5]

Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. was the general contractor on this project and gave over $96,714 to Roark so he could issue restitution checks to his employees; however, as it appeared Roark pocketed much of that money, which is what led to the theft charge – a Class D Felony.[6]  Further, the amount that Roark did issue in restitution checks to his employees was not the full amount and pressured his employees to “help company” by giving some of the funds back to Roark.[7]

However, Roark was not the only contractor who has been indicted for violations of the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act.  The Indianapolis prosecutor office brought charges against the White River Mechanical Inc., in October 2011, where the contractor agreed to a plea deal of $1,000 fine.[8] Even, the Indiana Department of Labor was found in violation of the wage act, where it admitted to underpaying its employees during an Indianapolis Public School Project.[9]

While the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act was repealed this 2015 legislative session by the Indiana General Assembly, several of same provisions carried over to the new wage law regarding construction.[10]  Some of those provisions relate to apprenticeships and the E-Verify system.[11] House Enrolled Act 1019, is the new law regarding construction wages and is codified under Indiana Code Title 4: State Offices and Administration and within Articles 13.5 and 13.6, Construction of State Office Buildings and Other Facilities, and State Public Works, respectively.[12]

Corey Meridew of Camden & Meridew, P.C. who practices in the areas of construction law, appellate law, business litigation, and utility law.  Corey has litigated hundreds of claims under Indiana’s Damage To Underground Facilities Act and can help you. Should you need an attorney in this specialized area, call 317-770-0000 or complete our online contact form today.

This website supplies general information about the law but it is provided for informational purposes only. This content does not create an attorney-client relationship and more importantly is not meant to constitute legal advice. You should not act on any of the information contained herein without first consulting an attorney.

[1] The Indiana Common Construction Wage Act was repealed in the 2015 Indiana General Assembly, and took effect July 1, 2015.

[2] Dan Huffman, Drywall Contractor Charged with Underplaying Employees, Indiana Business Journal, (Feb. 15, 2013),

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. at 2.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Indiana Department of Labor, Section: Common Construction Wage Home, Repeal: Effective July 1, 2015, (last visited Jul. 16, 2015).

[11] Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, Indiana Repeals Common Construction Wage Act, The National Law Review, (May 12, 2015),

[12] I.C. § 4-13.5 et. seq.; I.C. § 4-13.6 et. seq.