Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Casper, Wyo.-based Mount Rushmore Broadcasting Inc. and its owner Jan Charles Gray, alleging that the defendants willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, alleges that six employees are due a total of $79,445 in unpaid overtime and minimum wages, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages. The lawsuit seeks to recover the full amount of back wages and liquidated damages, and an injunction prohibiting future violations of the FLSA. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for their back wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages. The liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees.
“The Labor Department holds employers accountable for failing to pay their workers properly,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “In this case, employees worked up to 88 hours in a workweek without receiving minimum wage or overtime compensation. This is unacceptable and illegal. This lawsuit should send a clear message that the department will use every enforcement tool necessary, including litigation, to ensure that employees are paid what they have rightfully earned, and to maintain a level playing field for diligent, law-abiding employers.”
The investigation, conducted by personnel from the division’s Denver District Office, found that employees of Mount Rushmore Broadcasting, which has operations in South Dakota and Wyoming, were paid fixed salaries without regard to the number of hours worked or to the overtime compensation required for hours worked beyond 40 per workweek. In some cases, monthly salaries failed to compensate employees at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The company also failed to maintain records required by the FLSA.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Additionally, employers must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-Wage (487-9243) or its Denver office at 720-264-3250. Information is also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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