A small trucking firm awarded multimillion contracts with the U.S. Postal Service owes its drivers nearly $1.4 million in back wages, the Labor Department said this week.

Alan Berman Trucking, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., is accused of pay violations on at least eight government contracts worth $10 million to haul mail for post offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the agency said.

Investigators with the agency's Wage and Hour Division said the company paid its drivers by the mile or trip, making them use their own vehicles and cover fuel, maintenance, and repair costs. It also did not provide fringe benefits required by law. As a result, the drivers' wages fell below rates stipulated by the Service Contract Act.

Under the act, all federal service contractors must pay workers the prevailing wages and benefits of a given location. The compensation sought covers 80 employees over period of nearly three years. The company has been cited seven times before for labor law violations, the agency said. It is seeking to bar the company from receiving government contracts.