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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 11-675-DAL

Date: 

June 9, 2011

Contact: 

Elizabeth Todd - Juan Rodriguez

Phone: 

972-850-4710 - 972-850-4709

Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Lubbock, Texas, agrees to pay workers more than $57,000 in back wages following US Labor Department investigation


Texas and New Mexico employees affected, company assessed civil money penalties

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Han Nara Enterprise LP, doing business as Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Lubbock, has agreed to pay $57,286 in minimum and overtime back wages to 170 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Affected employees worked at the Lubbock store as well as additional facilities in Amarillo and Midland, Texas, and Hobbs, N.M.

Employee interviews and a review of payroll records revealed that commissions earned by sales consultants did not always yield the minimum wage; employees were not compensated for mandatory meetings; illegal deductions were made for business cards, name tags, postage stamps, postcards and binders; “straight time,” rather than time and one-half, was paid for some overtime hours; and some employees were improperly classified as exempt from the FLSA. Additionally, the company did not maintain all required records. Civil money penalties in the amount of $37,400 were assessed for these violations.

“There is no exemption from the minimum and overtime wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act for inside sales work,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Employees were working more than 48 hours a week for straight commission earnings, resulting in their pay falling below the federal minimum wage. This practice is unacceptable, and we will use all available enforcement tools to ensure companies pay employees according to the law.”

Han Nara Enterprise cooperated with the investigation, and has agreed to properly classify its employees and fully comply with the FLSA in the future. Payment of back wages is ongoing. Civil money penalties have been paid in full.

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 also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the division’s Albuquerque District Office at 505-248-6100. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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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.