Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
HOUSTON, Texas -- Butch’s Waterproofing LP has agreed to pay $127,468 in back overtime wages after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that 55 construction workers were not properly paid as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employer also was assessed $1,320 in civil money penalties for violating child labor provisions of the FLSA.
The investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division in Houston determined that Butch’s Waterproofing did not pay laborers for time spent loading trucks with equipment and materials. Additionally, a 17-year-old was employed to perform the hazardous tasks of picking up roofing trash and holding ladders while workers climbed onto rooftops. The company also did not maintain the required recordkeeping.
“The laws and regulations for underage children are very specific, and employers in violation will be penalized,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the division in the Southwest.
Butch’s Waterproofing, which is engaged in the restoration, roofing and waterproofing of commercial buildings in and around the Houston area, cooperated with the investigation and has agreed to future FLSA compliance. Civil money penalties have been paid in full by the company. Back wages are currently being paid.
The FLSA prohibits the employment of people under the age of 18 in any nonagricultural occupations that the Labor Department has declared hazardous. These dangerous tasks are identified by 17 hazardous occupation orders, one of which requires that employees be at least 18 years old to be employed in occupations in roofing operations and on or about a roof.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $6.55 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. The minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Under the law, employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the Wage and Hour Division’s District Office in Houston at 713-339-5500. Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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