Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Labor Department investigates Food Evolution, finds more than $150,000 in overtime back wages due to 130 workers at Schiller Park packaging facility
SCHILLER PARK, Ill. -- Food Evolution, a food packaging facility in Schiller Park, has paid 130 workers a total of $150, 261 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The investigation found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions during a recent investigation.
“Violations found at Food Evolution impacted a large number of the low-wage production workers in the facility, many of whom may not have known their legal rights under federal labor laws,” said Thomas Gauza, the Wage and Hour district director in Chicago. “The department will not tolerate pay practices designed to manipulate records to evade paying workers, in accordance with the FLSA.”
Food Evolution was found to have consistently altered time records to avoid paying overtime premium properly. The investigation determined that Food Evolution failed to pay employees time and one-half for overtime hours by reducing the actual hours worked over 40 by one-third and representing on the payroll records that the reduced overtime hours were being paid at time and one-half. The result was that employees received straight time for all hours worked.
The company has paid the back wages in full and agreed to comply with all provisions of the FLSA in the future. Additionally, the firm signed an enhanced compliance agreement in which it agreed to provide training to those personnel who prepare payroll. It will install a system in which manual edits on hours worked records will be clearly explained. Additionally, the company allowed Wage and Hour investigators to meet with its employees and provide information related to the investigation and workers’ rights under the FLSA.
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, 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 visit http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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