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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: ESA-WH-09-126-DAL

Date: 

July 30, 2009

Contact: 

Elizabeth Todd

Phone: 

972-850-4710

U.S. Department of Labor secures more than $500,000 for employees of drywall companies in Arkansas and Texas


DALLAS, Texas -- Drywall companies in Arkansas and Texas have agreed to collectively pay $535,145 in overtime back wages to 752 employees after a series of investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

“Many of these employers misclassified employees as independent contractors, resulting in a failure to pay required overtime,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “We are pleased in this case to have secured more than $500,000 owed to these workers.”

The investigations by the Wage and Hour Division’s district offices in Little Rock, Ark., and Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, determined that employees did not meet the legal factors for independent contractor status. Eight drywall companies in Arkansas and 22 companies in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio combined were investigated. The companies cooperated with the investigations and have agreed to future FLSA compliance. Back wages have been paid in full.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage 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. Effective July 24, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.  For purposes of the FLSA, there are a number of factors for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee.

For more information about the FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Dallas District Office at 817-861-2150, its Houston District Office at 713-339-5500 or its Little Rock District Office at 501-223-9114. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.

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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.