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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 13-1675-SAN (SF-137)

Date: 

Sept. 4, 2013

Contact: 

Deanne Amaden or Jose A. Carnevali

Phone: 

415-625-2630 or 415-625-2631

US Labor Department recovers nearly $243,000 in back wages for 101 workers of Solis Lighting and Electrical Services

SAN DIEGO -- Solis Lighting and Electrical Services has paid $242,563 in back wages to 101 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the San Clemente-based employer in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The investigation by the division’s San Diego District Office disclosed that Solis Lighting and Electrical did not pay workers an overtime premium for hours worked beyond 40 per week, as required by the FLSA. The employer kept another payroll record for travel time, paying employees separately for work time spent in travel at the regular hourly rate, even when total work hours exceeded 40 per week. Additionally, the employer routinely deducted a 30-minute meal break from the workers’ daily work hours, even though employees worked through their meal breaks.

“Vigorous enforcement of the FLSA is vital to ensure employee protection, as well as providing a level playing field for all employers in the community. Employers are responsible for paying for all hours of work and need to make sure their employees are getting an uninterrupted meal break before making deductions,” said Kenneth Morrison, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s San Diego District Office. “We have worked with the company to expand their understanding of the law and to prevent any further violations from occurring. It benefits the workers, employers and community when we can work together to achieve compliance.”

Solis Lighting and Electrical has paid the back wages in full and implemented new policies to comply with FLSA requirements, such as converting salaried employees to hourly pay and having employees complete their own time sheets. The lighting, energy management and electrical services company serves more than 2,000 locations across 11 states.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate basis, but must meet the minimum wage. Overtime pay must be computed using the employee’s average hourly rate. Bona fide meal periods—typically 30 minutes or more—generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

For more information about the requirements of the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Orange County Area Office at 714-621-1650 or the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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