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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [12/19/2012]
Contact Name: Michael D’Aquino
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076
Release Number: 12-2368-ATL

AutoCricket.com agrees to pay more than $76,000 in back wages to 414 employees following a US Department of Labor investigation

MIAMI — Auto Cricket Corp., doing business as AutoCricket.com, has agreed to pay 414 employees a total of $76,589 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division personnel that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions. The investigation included two AutoCricket locations in Riviera Beach and Cordele, Ga.

Investigators found that the employer deducted short rest periods as non-work hours from the employee totals of hours worked. Failure to pay for that break time, which is compensable work time under the FLSA, resulted in the workers being paid less than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all their hours worked. Additionally, the employer paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 80 during a biweekly pay period, instead of paying workers time and one-half for all hours worked beyond 40 in a seven-day workweek, as required by the FLSA.

"Rest periods of short duration are common in the workplace, and employers should not deduct this time from employees' pay," said Will Garnitz, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Miami District Office. "Employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked, including overtime compensation, when they exceed 40 hours in a workweek. This case should put other employers on notice to ensure that they are paying their employees in compliance with the FLSA."

The employer has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future, to correct all violations identified by this investigation and to pay the back wages owed in full.

AutoCricket.com is a Web-based company that provides services related to buying, financing and insuring motor vehicles.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, "hours worked" includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer's premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday.

The department has a smart phone application to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users can track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers' records, workers now can keep their own records. This and other Labor Department apps are available at www.dol.gov/dol/apps/.

The division's Miami office can be reached at 305-598-6607. Information on the FLSA and other wage laws is available by calling the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) and at www.dol.gov/whd/.