Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
DALLAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, against NB Wholesale Inc., doing business as Silver Star Imports, and individuals Nizar Ali, Aziz Jiwani, Mohammed Jiwani, Rahim Muhammedi and Farhat Rivsi. The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay, liquidated damages and civil money penalties, as well as an injunction to permanently prohibit the defendants from committing future FLSA violations.
The lawsuit follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, which found the company failed to pay current and former cashiers, stockers and delivery workers, in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Investigators from the Dallas district office found that the majority of grocery staff and delivery drivers, who worked up to six days a week and averaged more than 53 hours a week, were paid a fixed salary for all hours worked. These employees were not paid time and one-half their regular rate, as required by the FLSA, for hours over 40 in a workweek. In some cases, employees’ earnings fell below the minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.
“Silver Star Imports has been investigated before, and the employers have continued to deliberately disregard the most basic requirements of the FLSA. Despite the company’s agreement in 2012 to pay back wages and comply with the overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping requirements, no payments have been made to employees. We have seen no changes in its unlawful pay practices,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator in the Southwest. “This lawsuit demonstrates that we will use all means at our disposal to enforce the law, including litigation, liquidated damages and penalties. Failing to comply with the law not only impacts these workers, but their families and communities as well.”
Investigations conducted by the division in both 2012 and 2013 found that the company paid workers on a weekly salary that was often insufficient to cover the minimum wage for all their hours of work. Silver Star Imports did not pay overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek and did not maintain records of employees’ hours and pay.
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 of pay, 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 Dallas District Office at 817-861-2150. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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