Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal judge has ordered R.M. International Inc. to pay $376,380 in back wages and liquidated damages to 177 employees. The ruling follows a trial resulting from an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Judge Anna J. Brown, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division, issued the final order. During the trial, the Labor Department alleged that the company’s drivers failed to meet an exemption to the FLSA under the Motor Carrier Act for providing overtime compensation to some employees who operate motor vehicles on public highways in interstate commerce. The court found that the employees in question did not qualify for the exemption and therefore should have been paid overtime.
“This action underscores the Labor Department’s commitment to ensuring that employees receive their full pay as required by federal labor laws,” said Ruben Rosalez, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour’s regional office in San Francisco. “An employer cannot avoid its overtime obligations by incorrectly classifying drivers as being involved in interstate commerce. The Wage and Hour Division will use every enforcement tool available, including litigation, to level the playing field and ensure that employees are properly paid.”
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for hours worked over 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.
Only drivers, their helpers, loaders who are responsible for proper loading and mechanics working directly on motor vehicles that are to be used in transportation of passengers or property in interstate commerce can be exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA under the specific exemption claimed by this employer. The overtime exemption does not apply to employees of non-carriers such as commercial garages, companies engaged in the business of maintaining and repairing motor vehicles owned and operated by carriers, or companies engaged in the leasing and renting of motor vehicles to carriers. Additional information about this exemption can be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs19.htm.
R.M. International Inc. is headquartered in Portland and provides truck testing services to Freightliner, a Portland truck manufacturer and a division of Daimler-Chrysler.
The Labor Department was legally represented in this case by its Regional Office of the Solicitor in Seattle. For more information on the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Portland office at 503-326-3057. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
Solis v. R. M. International Inc.
Civil action file number: 3:09-CV-863-BR
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