Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
WEST COVINA, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is holding compliance seminars in English and Spanish for employers in the pallet manufacturing industry, on Thursday, July 29, at West Covina’s City Hall, 1444 West Garvey Ave. S. The agency will discuss violations commonly identified during its review of pallet manufacturers in the West Covina area over the past two years, and what is needed to be in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The morning session will be offered in English, the afternoon session in Spanish.
“What we found in the industry is a concern,” said George Friday Jr., regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division. “The main purpose of the seminars is to reach out to the 119 pallet manufacturers in this area to ensure they understand the laws and comply with them.”
Investigators visited a sample of pallet manufacturers in Fontana, the City of Industry and La Puente, Calif., to assess whether the employers were complying with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, including following federal minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and child labor requirements. In examining payroll and other records at eight manufacturers that met the criteria for coverage under the FLSA, investigators found that more than half of the employers were not paying employees properly, and that most were not keeping accurate payroll records.
In addition, one manufacturer, GMA Pallet Recycling Corp. in Fontana, employed a 17-year-old who performed duties prohibited by provisions of the law designed to protect employees under 18 from dangerous work activities; specifically, using a nail gun and using a shearing machine in removing nails from the pallets. The Wage and Hour Division assessed the employer a $2,640 civil money penalty for the violations.
In total, the agency identified $207,905 in overtime back wages due to190 employees at six of the companies included in the review. 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 must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Employers interested in attending the informational seminar should contact the East Los Angeles District Office of the Wage and Hour Division at (626) 966-0478. The training will be conducted in English at 9:30 a.m. PDT; the same training will be offered in Spanish at 1 p.m.
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