DOL Recovers $600K in Back Wages for 1,823 Workers Due to Reported FLSA Violations
October 05, 2022
In separate developments, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced recovery of a total of $596,365 in back wages for 1,823 workers due to reported Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations that include failing to pay minimum and overtime wages, misclassification as independent contractors, and overlooking joint-employer obligations.
Bonuses left out of pay rate calculations.Advantage Consulting and Education Services, dba Advantage Living Centers, a Detroit-area residential healthcare facilities management company has paid$121,525 in back overtime wages to 640 employees. WHD investigators determined that the employer paid non-discretionary bonuses to employees for perfect attendance, working in the coronavirus isolation unit, and for mentoring and training new employees, but failed to include the bonuses into employees’ rate of pay when calculating overtime rates.
Child labor violations.H&H Coldwater LCC, a Fort Wayne, Indiana-based operator of Dairy Queen franchise locations in Indiana and Michigan agreed to pay$42,572 in civil money penalties due to FLSA child labor provisions at 11 of its locations. Investigators found 102 minors ages 14 and 15 working in violation of Child Labor Regulations No. 3—working hours and time standards—at the Dairy Queen stores in Fort Wayne, at stores in Indianapolis, Bluffton, and Decatur; and at one location in Sturgis, Michigan.
The FLSA prohibits 14- and 15-year-old employees from working later than 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day and past 7 p.m., the remainder of the year. Additionally, they cannot work more than three hours on a school day, eight hours on a non-school day or more than 18-hours per week.
Misclassified as independent contractors.WHD investigators have recovered $352,347 in back overtime wages for 653 workers of Leo Staffing & Management LLC, dba LTL Staffing and Business Solutions, a Dearborn, Michigan, staffing agency that reportedly assigned the workers to manufacturing facilities and illegally classified them as independent contractors. By doing so, the employer violated the FLSA when it denied workers their overtime wages. The WHD found that LTL Staffing assigned most of the employees to work as machine operators, welders, and forklift drivers at Challenge Manufacturing locations in Walker, Holland, and Pontiac, Michigan. Although the employees worked directly at the manufacturing plants, LTL Staffing maintained all employee records and processed their paperwork and payroll.
No OT, just straight time.First Choice Interiors has paid$22,492 in overtime back wages to 39 workers for unpaid overtime. WHD investigators found that the Houston, Texas, commercial interior construction company failed to pay the overtime premium by only paying straight time for all hours worked, in violation of the FLSA. Investigators also found that the employer violated FLSA record-keeping requirements by failing to maintain complete time records for nonexempt employees.
Joint employer.OKC Metro Alliance, dba Men’s and Women’s First Residential Recovery, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,paid$100,000 in back wages to 491 workers to resolve reported FLSA minimum wage and overtime violations. The violations occurred when OKC Metro placed recovery center residents within their First Programs, a long-term residential drug and alcohol recovery program, in third-party employment and withheld wages, essentially acting as a joint employer. OKC Metro agreed to change its business model to avoid future violations and paid back wages after entering into a compliance and settlement agreement with the DOL.