Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is currently conducting a compliance initiative in the landscaping industry of Greater Philadelphia. This initiative aims to promote compliance with the minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
“The Wage and Hour Division’s Philadelphia District Office, which covers Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties, is currently conducting investigations as part of this enforcement initiative,” said director Stewart Bostic. “Those companies that fail to comply are liable for back wages and may be assessed liquidated damages and civil money penalties. Their employees are entitled to full compensation.”
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in May 2007 there were 12,620 landscaping and groundskeeping workers in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Only 25 percent of landscaping and grounds maintenance companies investigated by the Wage and Hour Division’s Philadelphia District Office during the last five years were in compliance with the FLSA. A total of $152,992 in back wages was found to be due to 139 employees, for an average of $1,101 per employee.
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 $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.
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