Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
RESERVE, La. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $184,284 in back wages for 38 employees of Air Products and Chemicals Inc. after an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act at the company’s facilities in Reserve and Milton, Wis. The department also assessed the company an additional $2,090 in civil money penalties for repeat and/or willful violations of the FLSA.
“We found employees working up to 62 hours in a workweek without any overtime compensation. This is illegal,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator for the Southwest. “In addition to recovering back wages for workers, we assessed penalties against the employer because this is the second time we found this company in violation of the FLSA. The resolution of this case should remind all employers to take their legal obligations seriously and implement procedures or safeguards to ensure employees, especially those who work overtime hours, are paid properly for their work.”
Wage and Hour Division investigations disclosed systemic overtime violations at both company facilities. After conducting thorough reviews of payroll records and employment practices, as well as employee interviews, investigators determined that the company failed to apply a standardized workweek and paid employees straight-time wages for all hours, rather than time and one-half the employees’ regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, as required. As a result, employees were denied overtime compensation, in violation of the FLSA.
Allentown, Pa.-based Air Products and Chemicals, an industrial chemical and atmospheric gas service provider, sells and delivers industrial gas and chemicals nationwide and abroad. Following these investigations, the company agreed to pay all back wages and civil money penalties due, and also agreed to future compliance with the FLSA. In Reserve, 16 employees received $86,313 in overtime back wages. In Milton, 22 workers received $97,971. Back wages have been paid in full.
Previously, the division investigated another Air Products and Chemicals facility located in Haysville, Kan., and found violations of the FLSA’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. As a result of that investigation, the company paid $95,564 in back wages to 20 employees and agreed to maintain future compliance with the FLSA.
Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the department is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search.
The FLSA requires that covered 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 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 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 New Orleans District Office at 504-589-6171. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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