Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
APEX, N.C. -- PCM Construction Services LLC in Apex has agreed to pay 195 employees $72,143 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that identified violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. The department also assessed $36,465 in civil money penalties for repeat violations.
An investigation conducted by the division’s Raleigh District Office found the employer failed to pay overtime compensation at time and one-half the employees’ regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, as required. Instead, the employer paid employees who were not exempt from overtime requirements fixed salaries, without regard to the number of hours worked. The employer also failed to keep accurate records of the hours employees worked.
“Simply paying an employee a salary does not eliminate the requirement to pay overtime,” said Richard Blaylock, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Raleigh office. “This employer had full knowledge of the law’s requirements, yet chose to pay employees less than they had legally earned. This practice is unacceptable. The back wages found due and the assessment of a civil money penalty in this case should put other employers on notice to ensure that they are paying employees in compliance with the law.”
A previous investigation of PCM Construction Services by the Wage and Hour Division found more than $93,600 due to 114 employees for violations of the FLSA’s overtime requirements. The employer has agreed to pay the back wages found due in full, and to comply with the FLSA in the future. PCM Construction Services is a general contractor engaged in removing debris from construction sites.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Simply paying employees a salary does not exempt them from minimum wage and overtime protections. In general, hours worked includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment must be maintained.
The department has a smartphone application to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users can track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This and other Labor Department apps are available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps.
The division’s Raleigh office can be reached at 919-790-2742. 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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