Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor cites Alabama operator of residential group homes and assisted living facilities with overtime violations Magnolia Woods agrees to pay more than $300,000 in overtime violations and penalties
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- MW Therapeutic, doing business as Magnolia Woods, in Wetumpka, Ala., has agreed to pay $318,246 in back wages and penalties after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the company violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at its facilities in Prattville, Wetumpka, Troy and Montgomery, Ala.
Wage and Hour investigators found the employer was utilizing a fixed work period of 14 consecutive days in lieu of the 40-hour workweek for the purpose of computing overtime. There was an understanding between the employer and its employees to allow the employer to pay time and one-half the regular rate for hours worked over eight in any workday and 80-hours in a 14-day period. However, the employer misapplied the overtime exemption stated in the FLSA, resulting in overtime violations for paying employees straight time for all hours worked. Additionally, the employer failed to keep an accurate record of hours worked. As a result, 105 employees will be paid $295,146 for overtime back wages.
The company has agreed to pay $23,100 in civil money penalties. An investigation in 2004 revealed the employer violated the same FLSA regulations at two of its locations.
“When designing pay policies, employers must meet the requirements of both federal and state laws. Employers should never implement a pay system that doesn’t abide by FLSA regulations,” said Kenneth Stripling, acting district director for the Wage and Hour Division’s Birmingham Office.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records. The federal minimum wage for covered, nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour.
For more information about FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243); or contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Birmingham District Office, 950, 22nd Street North, Room 656; phone 205-397-7100. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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