Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Albuquerque-based Supporting Hands LLC and owner Mark DuBois for failing to pay 45 current and former care providers $23,363 in minimum wage and overtime compensation, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit seeks to recover the full amount of back wages due, along with an equal amount in liquidated damages, and asks the court to prohibit defendants from violating the law in the future.
Supporting Hands LLC maintains five residential treatment homes throughout New Mexico for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico after an investigation conducted by the Albuquerque District Office of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division uncovered systemic violations of the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. Investigators found that Supporting Hands employees were paid “straight time” wages, rather than time and one-half their regular rates of pay, for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, as required under the FLSA. Additionally, the defendants altered employees’ time cards in order to pay them less than what they were owed for all hours worked.
“The Labor Department will not allow employers like Supporting Hands LLC to cut corners and deprive low-wage workers of their rightful pay,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator in the Southwest. “This lawsuit demonstrates that the department will use all available tools, including litigation, to ensure accountability and compliance with the law.”
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 are also required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
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 Albuquerque office at 505-248-6100. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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