DOL in Action
Florida Restaurant to Pay More Than $82K in Back Wages
The Inlet Harbor Restaurant, Marina & Gift Shop in Ponce Inlet, Fla., has agreed to pay $82,665 to 192 workers following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division which found that the employer had deducted half hour breaks from every shift longer than six hours, even though the employees were never relieved from duty. Additionally, kitchen staff was paid "straight time" rather than time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked over 40 in a week.
Investigation of FMLA Violation Results in Back Pay
Following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, Nichiha U.S.A. Inc. has paid a former employee at its Macon, Ga., plant $20,141 in back wages after unlawfully terminating him for exercising his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The employee was taking intermittent leave to care for his mother, who had undergone surgery.
Chicago-area Cleaning Companies, Owners Sued
The Labor Department has filed lawsuits seeking back wages and liquidated damages for 135 workers of two Chicago-area cleaning companies following investigations conducted by the Wage and Hour Division. The suits allege violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions by Super Maid LLC in Romeoville and Skokie Maid and Cleaning Service LTD in Skokie, and their respective owners.
Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods Cited for 28 Safety, Health Violations
McKeefe Ventures, doing business as Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods LLC in Rocky Ford, Colo., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 28 alleged safety and health violations after a follow-up inspection revealed that corrective actions from a previous inspection had not taken place. Proposed fines total $116,160.
Fall Hazards Result in Citations, Penalties for Stucco Contractor
Hutchinson Stucco Inc. of Brunswick, Ga., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 11 safety violations following an inspection that found workers were exposed to fall hazards while constructing a three-story residential building on St. Simons Island. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of a local emphasis program on protecting workers from falls in the construction industry. Proposed penalties total $62,200.
Mississippi Radiator Plant Cited for Safety Violations
Howard Industries has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for eight safety violations, including two repeat and six serious, following an inspection of the company's radiator manufacturing plant in Laurel, Miss. The inspection was initiated under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $59,000.
Chuck E. Cheese's Pays Fines for Child Labor Violations
The Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions at nine Chuck E. Cheese's locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Investigators determined that 16 minors were allowed to load and operate on-site trash compactors, and that two minors were allowed to operate a dough mixer, in violation of Hazardous Occupations Orders 12 and 11. CEC Entertainment Inc., the Irving, Texas-based company that does business as Chuck E. Cheese's, agreed to comply with the federal regulations and has paid $28,225 in civil money penalties.
Resource Management Cited for 37 Violations After Worker Fatality
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Resource Management Cos. at its Earth City, Mo., recycling facility for 37 safety and health violations. An inspection was opened after a worker died from injuries sustained when he entered a baling machine to clear a jam and it became energized. Proposed fines total $195,930.
Emil's Pizza Fined: Workers Exposed to Oxygen Deficient Atmosphere
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Emil's Pizza Inc. in Watertown, Wis., with nine alleged safety and health violations, including one willful violation for exposing workers to an oxygen deficient atmosphere at its manufacturing plant. Proposed fines total $76,300.
Arkansas Union Official Sentenced for Embezzlement
Peggy Bolen, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 898 in Redfield, Ark., was sentenced in early December to five years of probation and ordered to pay more than $61,000 in restitution. Bolen pleaded guilty in August to one count of embezzling union funds after an Office of Labor-Management Standards investigation found that she had stolen from her union by writing unauthorized checks to herself.
Connecticut Contractor Cited for Worker Fall Hazards
G.A. Denison & Sons Inc., a New London, Conn., contractor, has been cited for 14 alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at an Old Lyme work site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's enforcement action follows an inspection opened June 7, when employees were observed being exposed to falls from heights of 15–26 feet while working without protection on both a scaffold and the roof of a building.
Nationwide Supply, Owner Sued Over Pension Deposits
The Labor Department has filed a lawsuit against Nationwide Supply Inc., operating as Business Outfitters in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Guy Baldino, the company's president and owner, for failing to deposit employee contributions into the company's pension plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The suit follows an investigation by the Employee Benefits Security Administration revealing that the defendants withheld nearly $20,000 in employee payroll contributions, as well as additional employee contributions exceeding $17,000. The department is seeking repayment of all losses, plus interest, to the plan.
Heat Seal Fined More Than $95,000 for 15 Safety, Health Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Heat Seal LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, with 15 safety and health violations, including one willful safety violation for failing to ensure machine points of operation were guarded. OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a complaint alleging that there were no guards on press brakes. Proposed fines total $95,200.
Initiative Protects Rights of Tennessee Hotel and Motel Workers
The Wage and Hour Division is conducting a multiyear enforcement initiative focused on the hotel and motel industry in Tennessee, where it has found widespread noncompliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators are visiting hotels and motels in major tourism areas, including Nashville and the Great Smoky Mountains, to assess compliance among establishment owners, third-party management companies and staffing agencies that provide workers.
Laid Off Michigan Workers Receive Help
The Labor Department awarded a $186,000 National Emergency Grant to the Michigan Strategic Fund to assist about 40 workers affected by layoffs from CCI Systems Inc. in Iron Mountain. Layoffs at this facility, which provides design, engineering and implementation services for communication network equipment, occurred from August 2010 through August 2011. The grant will provide assistance to dislocated workers in conjunction with services they will receive under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
Re-employment Help for Laid Off Wisconsin Workers
The state of Wisconsin was awarded a $3,390,230 National Emergency Grant increment to continue providing re-employment services to approximately 2,500 workers of 79 companies, predominantly in the manufacturing sector, who have been affected by layoffs and plant closures. The funds will be used to continue assisting the workers, many of whom also are certified as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance, by providing supportive services not available through the TAA program.
Boomerang Tube Cited Following Severe Worker Injuries
Boomerang Tube LLC in Liberty, Texas, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willful, serious and other-than-serious violations following severe injuries to three of the company's workers over a five-month period. The willful violations include failing to repair a damaged crane, ensure the use of lockout/tagout procedures to control energy sources of equipment and provide the required machine guarding. Proposed penalties total $468,000.