$424K in Back Wages, Damages Recovered for 108 Employees for FLSA Violations
July 13, 2022
The U.S, Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has separately announced its recovery of $424,330 in back wages and damages for 108 workers due to reported Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime, tipped wage, and misclassification violations. One employer was also assessed a $11,744 civil money penalty for child labor violations.
Set rates with no OT.J&J Raymond Construction LLC paid $247,334 in back wages and liquidated damages for 15 workers at the Texas oil pipeline construction company’s Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas job sites after theWHD foundthat the Center, Texas-based employer paid a set rate and did not pay overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek as required. Investigators also determined that the employer failed to include non-discretionary bonuses when computing the regular rate of pay and did not maintain accurate records.
Tipped wage violations.The WHD recovered $38,951 for 41 workers of Pittsburgh Distilling Co.,dbaWigle Whiskey Pittsburgh, for reported violations of FLSA rules that prevent managers from retaining tips received by tipped workers. The restaurant and distillery also shortchanged tipped employees of the overtime wages they were legally due.Investigators foundthat Wigle Whiskey calculated the tipped employee overtime rate based on their cash wage of $4 per hour instead of the federal minimum wage, as federal law requires. The employer also underpaid managers for overtime hours when they failed to include wages received by managers from the improper tip pool in overtime calculations.
OT “banked” and later paid at straight time.Valley Veterinary Associatespaid$90,867 in back wages and liquidated damages to 39 workers for reported overtime violations that occurred when the Unadilla, New York, employer “banked” hours worked over 40 in a workweek by employees instead of paying them at time-and-a-half their regular pay rate, then paid them for these hours at straight time in non-overtime workweeks. The employer also failed to keep accurate records of hours worked and rates of compensation for overtime workweeks, all of which violated the FLSA overtime and recordkeeping requirements.
Misclassified as independent contractors.TheWHD recovered$47,175 in back wages for 13 workers after finding that Sandpiper Autobody in Pleasant Grove, Utah, misclassified 13 technicians as independent contractors, and failed to pay them overtime wages as required. The employer also failed to keep accurate employee pay and time records.
Child labor violations.BOJ of WNC LLC,dbaBojangles 0212, agreed to pay a civil money penalty of $11,744 and make sweeping changes to enhance working conditions for minor-aged workers and comply with labor laws at the operator’s 93 locations in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Investigatorsfoundthat the restaurant violated the FLSA when it permitted 16 minors to work outside of permitted hours while school is in session.
BOJ of WNC LLC has agreed to re-train managers involved in hiring practices on legal working times and permissible jobs for minors, and ensure they understand terms associated with child labor laws; add additional training for current and new employees outlining federal guidelines for the employment of minors; display the child labor poster at all locations; identify when 14- or 15-year-old workers clock in and out to ensure working times comply with child labor requirements; maintain documents that prove birth dates for all minors within the enterprise; and distribute pamphlets outlining child labor regulations to parents of underage workers.