NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in federal court requiring a New York City design and construction company and its owners to pay $726,989 in back wages and liquidated damages to 184 employees and take other corrective actions to resolve past overtime and recordkeeping violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Design Development NYC, Inc., had misclassified almost all of its employees as independent contractors, an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found.
The misclassified employees worked in numerous jobs, including carpenters, draftspersons, drivers, electricians, laborers, painters, and plumbers and tilers. The company also wrongfully considered three employees as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements, paying them a fixed weekly salary without regard to hours worked.
As a result, misclassified employees and non-exempt employees – some of whom worked 70 hours per week or more – did not receive proper overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA requires that employees receive one-and-one-half their regular rates of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek and that employers maintain adequate and accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours.
“This resolution commits this company to positive and effective steps to prevent future violations,” said Mark Watson Jr., the Wage and Hour Division’s northeast regional administrator.
“Our goal is to ensure that employees receive the hard-earned wages due them and that law-abiding businesses can compete fairly in the marketplace,” said Jeffrey S. Rogoff, the regional solicitor.
The company and owners, Michael Daddio and Earl Brian, neither admit nor deny the allegations; they have agreed to a consent judgment, entered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which requires them to comply with the FLSA by determining employees’ overtime exemption status properly and recording employees’ work hours accurately, among other requirements. They will also submit complete samples of time and payroll records for all employees to the division for its review, and supply current and new employees with written notification of their rights under the FLSA in languages the workers understand.
The division is committed to providing employers with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive E-laws advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, the division’s Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialists conduct ongoing outreach activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups and professional associations, among others, with accessible, easy-to-understand information about their rights and responsibilities.
The division’s New York City District Office conducted the FLSA investigation. Trial Attorney Frances Y. Ma of the department’s New York Regional Solicitor’s Office handled the case for the division.
For more information about the FLSA, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its New York City District Office at 212-264-8185. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.