Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
KENNER, La. -- A Louisiana food and drink manufacturer has paid $46,360 in minimum wage and overtime back wages to 35 Kenner production workers to resolve a legal action brought by the U.S. Department of Labor for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“It is the law that all employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned,” said the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division Southwest Regional Administrator Cynthia Watson. “In this case, employees did not receive compensation for scheduled pay periods. Nor did they receive compensation for hours worked over 40 in a week. These practices are illegal.”
The department filed a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Kiko Foods Inc., Southern Sales Systems, Max H. Burnell, the chief executive officer, and Carol Burnell, the executive vice president, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, to prohibit additional shipments of goods manufactured by the affected employees until back wage payments were paid in full.
An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division in New Orleans found that the company was in violation of the FLSA by failing to pay production employees their wages for work performed during the period from Jan. 31 to Feb. 20, 2010. Kiko Foods agreed to resolve the violations after the court issued an order prohibiting illegal shipments.
Kiko Foods Inc., owned by Southern Sales Systems in Kenner, manufactures and produces purified water, beverages and drink mixes.
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. For purposes of the FLSA, there are a number of factors for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee.
For information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the division’s district office in New Orleans at 504-589-6171. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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