Judge dismisses lawsuit over Del. prevailing wage

WILMINGTON, Del. -- A Delaware judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state Labor Department's determination that a company must pay its employees the state's prevailing wage rates.

Vice chancellor Donald Parsons ruled Wednesday that SimplexGrinnell failed to exhaust its administrative remedies by appealing to Delaware's labor secretary before going to court.

SimplexGrinnell supplies alarm and detection systems to private commercial customers and government agencies. The company filed its lawsuit after the labor department recently reversed an earlier decision and said it had to pay certain employees the prevailing wage rates, and that must do so retroactively.

Under state law, the Labor Department sets minimum wage rates for laborers and mechanics employed on certain public works projects.

According to court records, those rates are almost double what SimplexGrinnell currently pays its employees.