Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
BORGER, Texas -- Austin Industrial Inc., doing business as Austin Industrial Services LP, has paid $214,398 in overtime back wages to 13 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which found overtime and record-keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The investigation by the division’s Albuquerque District Office revealed the employer did not pay overtime compensation to managers who were promised a salary but were then paid on an hourly basis, docking their salaries when they worked less than 40 hours a week. Employees regularly worked over 50 hours, yet they did not receive time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, as required. Additionally, the company did not maintain accurate records of hours worked as required by the FLSA.
“Employees are entitled to receive all the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The Labor Department is committed to ensuring workers receive their lawful compensation, and to maintaining a level playing field where all employers play by the same rules. The back wages paid in this case should serve as a warning to other employers to ensure that they are paying their employees in compliance with federal labor law.”
La Porte, Texas-based Austin Industrial Inc., which provides maintenance and construction work for the Phillips 66 Inc. oil and gas refinery in Borger, has agreed to future compliance with the FLSA. Back wages have been paid in full.
The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for the exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. For an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department’s regulations.
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. Employers also are 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 also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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