Builder fined for affirmative action violation
— reported by KTRKABC Channel 13
The federal government has fined one of Texas’ largest road builders $3 million for circumventing laws meant to bring minorities into road construction.
The Federal Highway Administration accused Houston-based Williams Brothers Construction Co. of arranging puppet companies to supply it with concrete and meet affirmative action requirements. The companies were not independent and could not have survived on their own, the government said.
Under a Texas Department of Transportation program established in 1983, recipients of federal highway dollars must make sure part of the work is subcontracted to women and minorities. The requirement was later changed to include anyone who could prove a disadvantaged background.
According to federal investigators, Williams Brothers on two occasions sold its own concrete-mixing equipment to companies fronted by women or minorities and then bought the concrete back.