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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 11-1792-DAK

Date: 

Jan. 10, 2012

Contact: 

Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

Phone: 

(312) 353-4727 or (312) 353-4807

South Dakota builder to pay more than $110,000 in back wages to 34 employees following US Labor Department investigation


ASTORIA, S.D. -- Asmussen Bin Builders LLC has agreed to pay $110,262 in back wages to 34 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. Asmussen Bin Builders, owned and operated by Richard and Paul Asmussen, is an Astoria-based commercial construction company that builds large grain bins for agricultural cooperatives throughout the country.

“The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that all workers receive the wages they rightfully earn,” said Chad Frasier, district director of the Wage and Hour Division in Denver. “Employers are legally obligated to comply with the law and ensure that their workers are fairly and properly compensated for every hour worked.”

An investigation conducted by the division’s Denver District Office revealed that the company improperly classified several employees as exempt from the FLSA, thereby denying them overtime compensation. Investigators found that employees were required to work long hours – performing an average of 55 hours of work per week while completing construction projects – and were paid “straight time” wages, rather than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours exceeding 40 per week, as required under the FLSA. Additionally, the employer violated the act by failing to display a required FLSA poster at its work site and to maintain accurate records of employees’ work hours and wages.

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 also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information on improper classification of workers as exempt, please visit the Fair Pay website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/main.htm.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Denver office at 720-264-3282. Information also is available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.