Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
ATLANTA, Georgia -- The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a judgment in federal district court in Atlanta against Next Level Financial LLC and its president, Christopher Pilot. The mortgage loan originator, doing business as Simply Direct Mortgage, has been ordered to pay back wages of $63,500 plus interest in the amount of $1,031 to 25 employees for violating provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The judgment results from a Labor Department lawsuit alleging that the defendants paid wages at a rate less than the applicable minimum hourly wage and failed to compensate employees at rates not less than one and one-half times their regular rates for hours in excess of 40 per week.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division revealed that workers who were employed as loan originators were paid on a commission-only basis, did not qualify for administrative or outside sales exemptions under FLSA, and were covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act.
The court has permanently prohibited the defendants from future violations of the FLSA and ordered that the defendants keep and preserve adequate and accurate employment records in the future. The order includes a schedule for the company to make payments on the back wages with interest to the Labor Department, which will disburse the funds to the affected employees.
“We are pleased that this employer has been held accountable for its actions and that, as a result, these employees are being compensated according to federal labor law,” said Janet Campbell, district director of the Wage and Hour’s office in Atlanta.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, effective July 24, and receive overtime at one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The Atlanta District Office of the Wage and Hour Division conducted this investigation, and the department’s suit was filed by the Regional Solicitor’s Office in Atlanta. For more information about provisions of FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the division’s Tampa office at 404-893-4600. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
Solis v. Next Level Financial LLC
(Civil Action Number 1:09-cv-1881)
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