Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $118,465 in back wages for 44 security guards of Appalachian Security Inc., following an investigation that found the employees had been improperly classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay provisions, and thereby denied proper compensation for all hours of their work.
Appalachian Security Inc. provides guard services to coal mines and businesses in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. The company has agreed to complete all back wage payments directly to the affected employees.
“A job must clearly meet the salary and duty requirements outlined in the FLSA in order to qualify as exempt from overtime compensation, and management cannot make deals with employees to circumvent the law. The Labor Department vigorously enforces these rules to be sure there is a level playing field for companies that follow the rules,” said Karen Garnett, director of the department’s Wage and Hour Division district office in Louisville.
An investigation conducted by the Wage and Hour Division found that the company improperly classified several guards as salaried-exempt from the FLSA, when in fact these employees were paid on an hourly basis and their wages did not meet the overtime exemption requirements of the FLSA. In addition, the company was found to have entered into illegal agreements with some of its guards to pay them straight-time wages for all hours worked, instead of time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours exceeding 40 per workweek, as required under the FLSA.
The company agreed to pay all back wages due the affected employees, and also committed to maintaining future compliance by ensuring all employees are properly classified and compensated for their full work periods, in accordance with the FLSA.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about this case, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Louisville office at 502-582-5226. Information on FLSA rules is available through the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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