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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [10/26/2011]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 11-1369-DAL

Hilton Reservations Worldwide employees to receive more than $715,000 in minimum, overtime back wages following US Labor Department investigation

2,645 workers in Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas affected

CARROLLTON, Texas — Hilton Reservations Worldwide LLC, doing business as Hilton Reservations and Customer Care in Carrollton, has agreed to pay $715,507 in minimum and overtime back wages to 2,645 current and former customer service employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

An investigation by officials from the Wage and Hour Division's Dallas District Office found that the company failed to pay employees for work performed prior to clocking in at the start of their scheduled shifts, such as booting up a computer, opening programs required to assist customers and reading pertinent emails. Consequently, the employees did not receive at least the minimum wage for this time, as required by the FLSA. Additionally, because the time was not included in employees' total hours worked, which is used to calculate overtime wages, they did not receive the correct overtime rate of pay. Finally, the employer failed to maintain the required records.

"This company profited by not paying its customer care workers for hours spent conducting pre-shift work," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "We look at big companies with a multitude of resources, such as Hilton Reservations Worldwide, as businesses that can model what it means to be a good employer. For that reason, we are pleased that the company has made the necessary changes to comply with the law and pay its workers all the wages they have earned."

A total of $456,343 is due to 1,443 reservation and customer care workers at the Carrollton location; $213,314 is due to 1,012 employees in Tampa, Fla.; $30,370 is due to 130 workers in Hazelton, Pa.; and $15,480 is due to 60 workers in Streator, Ill.

Hilton Reservations Worldwide, which provides telephone reservation services for the Hilton Worldwide chain of hotels and resorts, has agreed to fully comply with the FLSA in the future. Payment of the back wages is ongoing.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), or the division's Dallas office at 817-861-2150. Information also is available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.