Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
NEWARK, N.J. -- S. Cooper Brothers Trucking Inc., a Newark trucking company, its owner Sonnie L. Cooper and secretary Margarette Cooper have agreed to pay 105 employees $140,883 in back wages, liquidated damages and interest to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the suit followed an investigation conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that identified violations of the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping violations. Wage and Hour Division investigators determined that the company failed to properly pay sanitation lifters and truck drivers, roll off truck drivers, street sweeper operators and machine operators when they worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The company also failed to maintain records in violation of the law.
“The department is committed to taking legal action to hold employers accountable when they fail to properly compensate workers,” said Joseph Petrecca, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in Northern New Jersey, which conducted the investigation.
A consent judgment agreed to by all parties orders the company, and Sonnie Cooper and Margarette Cooper individually, to pay back wages totaling $100,000 and damages and interest in the amount of $40,883, and prohibits future violations of the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping provisions. The defendants agreed to entry of the judgment without admitting the alleged violations contained in the department’s suit.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage as well as one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained. The federal minimum wage for covered, nonexempt employees is $6.55 per hour. Effective July 24, 2009, the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour.
For more information about the FLSA’s requirements, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
Solis v. S. Cooper Brothers Trucking Inc. et al
Civil Action Number: 07-CV-3877
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