Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
LOUISVILLE, Tenn. -- Countryside Veterinary Services in Louisville has paid $61,097 in back wages to 11 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that identified violations of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Countryside Veterinary Services provides health care and emergency services for animals, and sells veterinary pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies.
An investigation conducted by the division’s Nashville District Office found that employees were not paid for all hours spent traveling to and from horse shows, or those working at the shows. Additionally, the company failed to properly compute employees’ total work hours and paid several employees “straight time” wages, rather than time and one-half their regular rates for hours beyond 40 per week. The company also failed to maintain proper records of the number of hours worked by employees.
“Employers who either intentionally or negligently undercount the work hours of their employees, thus avoiding paying legally required wages, are not just depriving vulnerable workers, they also are undercutting those employers who obey the law and pay their employees properly,” said Sandra Sanders, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Nashville office.
Following the investigation, Countryside Veterinary Services agreed to pay all back wages owed to the affected employees. Any payments that could not be made because the workers could not be contacted were turned over to the Labor Department, which will hold those payments for the workers until they are located. Owners Dr. Denny Lilliard and Beck Lilliard also committed to maintaining future compliance with the FLSA by ensuring that employees are properly classified and compensated for all hours of their work.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as well as time and one-half their regular hourly rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.
Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. Publicly available enforcement data are also available through the free mobile application “Eat Shop Sleep,” which enables consumers, employees and other members of the public to check if a hotel, restaurant or retail location has been investigated by the Wage and Hour Division, and whether FLSA violations were found. The app is available at https://sites.google.com/site/eatshopsleepdol.
The division’s Nashville office can be reached at 615-781-5344. Information on the FLSA and other wage laws is available by calling the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) and at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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