Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.




For more information call: 202/219-8743.

More than $8 million in back wages and liquidated damages will be paid to almost 1,500 employees as the result of a ruling by a U.S. district judge in Connecticut against the Southern New England Telecommunications Corp. and Southern New England Telephone Company (collectively known as SNET), the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.

The ruling signed by U.S. District Judge T.F. Gilroy Daly resolves a suit filed by the department which alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), including failure to maintain adequate and accurate payroll records and failure to pay outside craft employees for work SNET required during lunch hours.

"This is a major victory for working people," said Secretary of Labor Robert R. Reich. "The Labor Department is committed to enforcing the wage and hour laws and making sure that companies treat their workers fairly."

"Almost $3.9 million in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated wages is due to almost 1,500 employees who worked for SNET between Oct. 12, 1991 and April 30, 1994," said Maria Echaveste, Administrator of the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. "This decision covers employees who worked as assistant superintendents of construction, network delivery technicians, network deployment technicians, outside plant technicians, and workers formerly known as communication facilities workers."

The workers had been required by SNET to remain at, and watch over, outside sites such as manholes and trenches during their lunches, without pay. The court ordered that double damages be paid because SNET failed to prove its pay practices were in good faith.

The court ordered the parties to devise an appropriate method of computing back wages for the period since April 30, 1994, which will result in substantial additional back wages paid to these employees.

The FLSA covers nearly 90 million workers around the nation. It sets the federal minimum wage at $4.25 per hour and generally requires overtime if an employee works more than 40 hours per week. It also prohibits child labor abuse and requires adequate record-keeping by employers.

The department filed the case after an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division district office in Hartford, Connecticut.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
June 20, 1995
Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number