Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Department of Labor recovers nearly $30,000 in back wages for employees of liquor store and bar in Bryson City, NC
BRYSON CITY, N.C. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $29,850 for 25 employees of Old Mac’s Package, Watering Trough and Riverside Grill in Bryson City following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, which found that employees had been improperly classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and thereby denied compensation for all hours worked.
“Putting someone on salary does not automatically exempt him or her from coverage by the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements of the FLSA. Employers need to carefully assess job duties and responsibilities when determining who may qualify as exempt from these rules,” said Richard Blaylock, director of the Wage and Hour Division district office in Raleigh. “The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that workers receive the pay and benefits to which they are legally entitled and to level the playing field for employers that play by the rules.”
After conducting interviews and reviewing personal records maintained by employees, an investigator determined that two employees had been improperly classified as FLSA-exempt managers, although they were unable to exercise hiring or firing authority. Additionally, nonexempt employees worked 48 to 72 hours a week but received a weekly salary, which resulted in them receiving less than the federal minimum wage based on the number of hours worked. Also, uniforms and other deductions were made from employees’ pay, bringing their compensation farther below the required federal minimum wage for the hours worked.
The company will pay 25 employees $20,090 in back wages for failing to pay them overtime compensation when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. In addition, 21 of the 25 employees will receive $9,760 in back wages to compensate for having been paid below the federally required minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The company has agreed to comply in the future with all provisions of the FLSA and not to make deductions from pay for uniforms or other business expenses when doing so would reduce employees’ pay below the minimum wage or cut into earned overtime premium pay.
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.
This case was investigated by the Wage and Hour Division Raleigh District Office. More information is available by calling 919-790-2742. For information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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