Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
HOUSTON, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor has resolved a lawsuit against Houston-based O’Connor Packaging and Distribution Inc. for failing to properly pay overtime back wages totaling $85,000 to 95 assembly line employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
“This employer paid employees nonexempt from the FLSA a piece rate for all hours worked, and in some instances the piece rate earnings were not sufficient to cover the minimum wage,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “We are pleased that the legal action taken has resulted in securing $85,000 for these employees.”
The department filed a consent judgment against O’Connor Packaging and Distribution in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division in Houston. A decision was reached whereby O’Connor Packaging will pay back wages, plus interest, in installments to the Department of Labor for distribution to employees. Payment of back wages is ongoing.
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. To calculate a piece rate, the facility divides the prevailing hourly wage by the average hourly production rate (meaning the average number of units produced in a 50- or 51-minute hour by a worker who does not have disabilities).
For information about the FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in Houston at 713-339-5500. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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