Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Labor Department investigation results in 9 southern Oklahoma businesses agreeing to pay nearly $95,000 in back minimum and overtime wages
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nine Oklahoma companies have agreed to pay nearly $95,000 in back wages to 101 employees, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The companies are A+ Computer Repair, Ace Medical, Barnett Oil & Gas Construction, Holiday Inn Express and Roy Thomas General Contracting in McAlester; B&B Gas Well Services in Keota; Dale’s Propane in Clayton; and Longtown Conoco and Pemberton’s Steak House in Eufaula.
“It is a top priority of this department to ensure that all workers receive the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Employees worked as many as 100 hours in a two-week period without receiving overtime compensation. This employer also failed to pay workers the minimum wage. Such practices are illegal.”
The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s Oklahoma City District Office determined that the wage violations were due to illegal deductions, which caused pay rates to fall below the federal minimum wage; failing to raise the minimum wage to the required federal rate; misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime compensation; and paying employees “straight time” for all hours worked, including those worked over 40 in a single week. Additionally, required record keeping was not maintained.
After conducting employee interviews, and reviewing time and payroll records, investigators found that the nine businesses owed a total of $94,889 in back wages. The companies have agreed to pay the full amount, and to properly classify their employees and compensate them for all hours worked in the future. The back wages currently are being repaid.
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. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), its Oklahoma City office at 405-231-4158. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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