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State finds wind farm abused workers

Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle’s agency has lowered the boom on Colorado-based RES Construction, a subcontractor on the $590 million Montague wind farm in Eastern Oregon’s Gilliam County. Investigators for the Bureau of Labor and Industries determined RES deprived workers of hundreds of meal and rest breaks earlier this year. BOLI now proposes to fine RES $209,800, the biggest penalty imposed by the agency since it fined legislative leaders $1.1 million in a sexual harassment case. The Montague project qualified for more than $10 million in tax benefits for the project’s developer, Avangrid. RES may now fight the fine in a contested case hearing. “Our wage and hour division found evidence of wrongdoing,” Hoyle said. “Workers are entitled to meal periods and rest periods under Oregon law.” RES declined to comment.