Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
NEDERLAND, Texas -- An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has resulted in the recovery of more than $400,000 in back wages for 567 employees in the southeast Texas Golden Triangle area.
Rife Industrial Marine of Nederland will pay a total of $401,355 to welders and laborers engaged in offshore marine construction. Payment of back wages is ongoing.
“Deductions made by the company for invalid expenses should have been calculated as overtime,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “This legal action on behalf of these workers involving more than $400,000 in back wages puts the employer on notice that it should strictly adhere to federal overtime laws in the future.”
The investigation by the division’s Houston office found that Rife Industrial Marine incorrectly classified some wages as reimbursement for travel expenses and failed to pay overtime on those wages, resulting in underpayment of the employees, and failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and hours of work – both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Labor Department entered into a consent judgment with Rife Industrial Marine Inc. and Rodney Rife, president of the company, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, as a result of the investigation.
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 pay rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA also requires employers to maintain adequate and accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the 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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