Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Labor Department sues Bluefield, W.Va., accounting firm and president to recover back wages, damages for 5 employees
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Bluefield accounting firm Raymond A. Froy Jr. CPA, PC and its president, Raymond A. Froy Jr., for alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that affected five employees. The suit followed an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found the defendants had violated the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements.
The investigation found that the defendants failed to pay one employee at least the federal minimum wage, failed to record dates of birth for minor employees, failed to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of workers’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and paid non-exempt tax preparers a flat salary or “straight time” for all hours worked, including hours in excess of 40 per work week.
“This lawsuit sends a clear message that the Labor Department will continue taking action to protect all workers when their rights are violated by employers,” said John DuMont, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Pittsburgh District Office, which conducted the investigation. “We will use all available enforcement tools, including litigation, to recover workers’ wages and ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers.”
In addition to requiring the payment of the back wages owed, the suit seeks to place the firm and Raymond A. Froy Jr. under a permanent injunction from violating the FLSA in the future.
The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at no less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exemption status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department’s regulations.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour 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.
For more information on the FLSA and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the division’s Pittsburgh office at 412-395-4996 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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