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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [03/05/2014]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Email:
Allen.Scott@dol.gov or Burke.Rhonda@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-0215-CHI

US Department of Labor files suit against 14 Dayton, Ohio-area cell phone retailers to recover unpaid wages, damages for 83 workers

Zam Cricket and World Wireless failed to pay minimum wage, overtime

DAYTON, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit to recover back wages and liquidated damages for 83 workers at Dayton-area cellular phone retailers owned by Zam LLC, Reham LLC and Mohammed Rihan. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions at the 14 retail stores operating as Zam Cricket and World Wireless. The investigation determined that the company owes $226,905 in back wages to its workers.

"Through investigations like this one, the Wage and Hour Division continues to combat widespread labor violations," said George Victory, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Columbus. "Workers deserve to be fairly compensated for all hours worked, including pre- and post-shift work and mandatory meetings. During tough economic times, workers are vulnerable to exploitation. The Wage and Hour Division is committed to promoting awareness of wage laws and to ensuring compliance, so that all American workers are paid their rightful wages."

Investigators determined that the company violated minimum wage laws by failing to compensate retail store workers for mandatory meetings, time spent working before the store opened or after closing, and travel time between stores. The company also failed to pay workers at one and one-half times their hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek and to maintain accurate records of hours worked and of cash payments to employees.

In addition to back wages and damages, the suit also seeks a court order permanently enjoining Zam LLC, Reham LLC and Mohammed Rihan from violating the FLSA in the future.

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 hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces labor laws to protect employees, employers and American taxpayers, provides a level playing field for employers, and ensures fair wages and safe working environments for employees. Such protections help to support ladders of opportunity, igniting economic engines to grow a strong middle class. When employees are denied their hard-earned income, the Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that the money ends up in the hands of those who worked for it — money that will be spent on rent, transportation, and to put food on the table. Since 2009 the agency has concluded 145,884 investigations nationwide, resulting in more than a billion dollars in back wages for 1,238,589 workers.

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). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.