Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered more than $86,000 in back pay for 390 low-wage workers after an investigation of 23 Ohio hotels and 12 employment service employers found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These included violations of the law’s child labor provisions affecting 34 minors, resulting in the assessment of $35,323 in civil penalties.
“The Labor Department’s concentrated effort in this industry last year found that only 21 percent of those entities investigated were in complete compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said George Victory, director of the department’s Wage and Hour Division Columbus District Office. “Of utmost concern are the violations of the child labor laws. It is imperative that employers abide by the hazardous orders rules and keep young workers safe in the workplace.”
Victory also said that hotel owners need to understand they may be liable for back wages due to temporary or contracted workers who are employed in their establishments. The concept of “joint employment” means that an individual worker may be employed by two or more employers at the same time. Determinations of joint employment are made on a case-by-case basis in situations where the employers’ businesses are related and they may be deemed to share control of the employee. When the joint employment applies, hotel owners and the temporary employment companies are equally liable and responsible for ensuring that workers are paid the legally required wages.
The Labor Department intends to continue its investigations of Ohio hotels, including investigations of all joint employment relationships. The agency also will re-investigate a sampling of hotel employers that have been found in violation in the past.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid the federal minimum wage, currently $6.55 per hour, for all hours worked, including for time in job-related conferences, meetings and training. Nonexempt employees must be paid time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. Under the law, employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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