April 7, 2016

US Labor Department sues Gloucester seafood processor to recover nearly $204k in liquidated damages, additional back wages

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor is suing two Gloucester fish processing companies and their owner for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Zeus Packing Inc., Cape Ann  Seafood Exchange and owner Kristian Kristensen owed $203,998 in unpaid wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages totaling $407,996  to 132 workers for the period October 2011 through September 2014.

April 6, 2016

Idaho home energy contractor to pay $41K in back wages to 44 employees

Employers: Elite Energy Efficiency

Sites: 669 Quinn Road #1, Pocatello, Idaho

Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Elite Energy Efficiency violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying employees as independent contractors even though:

April 5, 2016

Orange County academic services provider to pay $439K in back wages owed to 58 employees after federal investigation

Employer: Joined, Inc., an academic recruitment, technology and curriculum services provider

Sites: 2010 Main St., Suite 550 Irvine, California

Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Joined, Inc. missed paying wages to staff in several pay periods. The company blamed clients who failed to pay for services rendered and a slowdown in company business.

March 31, 2016

Arkansas health-care facilities asked illegal, personal questions of workers requesting family and medical leave, federal initiative finds

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 40,000 hospital workers at Mercy Health System and affiliated locations around the nation are no longer required to have their health care providers answer a litany of unnecessary and illegal questions before requesting leave for their own serious health conditions or to care for a family member.

March 30, 2016

Clairmont Diner will pay $213K in back wages, damages and penalties after federal Wage and Hour investigation

Employer name: 929 Restaurant Corp., doing business as Clairmont Diner

Investigation site: 929 Yonkers Ave., Yonkers, New York

Investigation findings: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the Clairmont Diner violated the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators found the employer  

March 28, 2016

Judge orders New Jersey nursery to pay $143K in back wages, penalties after US Labor Department’s wage and hour investigation

Date of action: Feb. 18, 2016

Type of action: Order granting Wage and Hour Division’s motion for summary decision

Names of defendant: Overdevest Nurseries LP, wholesale grower of plants, shrubs, trees and flower

March 24, 2016

Oil well service workers receive $1.5M in back wages, damages after US Department of Labor investigations in New Mexico, Texas

HOBBS, N.M. – Nova Mud Inc., Nova Hardbanding LLC and Nova Sand LLC have paid $1.5 million – $750,000 in back wages and an additional, equal amount in liquidated damages – to 241 oil well service workers after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. All three commonly owned and operated businesses violated overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

March 23, 2016

Tampico restaurants agree to pay $190K in back wages to 67 workers

Type of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act Consent Judgment

Name of Defendants:

March 16, 2016

Tampa assisted living facility to pay more than $56K in back wages to 9 employees following US Labor Department investigation

Employer name: Toria’s Adult Living Facilities I & II, doing business as Toria’s Support Care Services Inc.

Investigation site: 3702 E. Osborne Ave., Tampa, Florida 33619

March 15, 2016

U.S. Labor Department lawsuit seeks back wages and damages for Austintown, Ohio restaurant workers

Type of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act Lawsuit Filing

Names of Defendants: Salsitas, Inc. doing business as Salsitas Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, and Oscar McBenttes

March 14, 2016

Sugar Land oil and gas services provider to pay $225K in back wages, damages after US Labor Department investigation

Employer: Plant Engineering Services LLC

Site: 1 Fluor Daniel Drive, Sugar Land, Texas

March 14, 2016

US Labor Department investigation results in judgment against Phoenix-based Colmenero’s Pallets

PHOENIX – The U.S. Department of Labor sued a Phoenix-based pallet manufacturer after an investigation found that the company employed a combination of tactics to circumvent federal labor laws, including using fictitious names for workers, improperly labeling others as ‘vendors,’ and routinely destroying time cards at the end of each pay period.

March 14, 2016

Oil, gas industry workers in 9 states owed more than $1.6M in back wages ongoing Labor Department enforcement initiative finds

DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has added four companies and an additional $1.6 million in back wages for more than 2,500 employees as its effort to improve labor law compliance in the oil and gas industry continues.

March 14, 2016

Department initiative finds $413K in back wages for nearly 400 workers

TAMPA, Fla. – Assisted living facilities are often judged by how well they care for their patients – but how well are they caring for their workers?

March 10, 2016

Orange County recycler to pay workers $200K in back wages, penalties

Employers: Garcia Recycling Center & Metals, Inc.

Sites: 631 S. Main St., Santa Ana, California
2429 W. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, California
13862 Seaboard Circle, Garden Grove, California

March 7, 2016

Popular Cajun food enterprise will pay more than $138K in back wages, penalties following U.S. Labor Department investigation

SCOTT, La. – While Billy’s Boudin & Cracklins food preparers were mixing rice, meat and seasoning to make the company’s popular Cajun sausage, their employer was cooking the books. Instead of paying workers the wages they legally earned, investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the owners were using those unpaid wages to lower their costs and increase profits.

March 2, 2016

Department sues Honolulu builder to recover more than $500K for workers after willful violation of federal minimum wage and overtime pay laws

Employer: Kazu Construction LLC

Type of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act Lawsuit    

Names of Defendants: Kazu Construction LLC Vernon Lowry, owner

March 2, 2016

Department of Labor moves to revoke Central Valley labor contractor’s certification in wake of farm workers’ deaths

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Labor has taken action to take away a Central Valley labor contractor’s permit to provide agricultural workers to local growers following a series of safety violations that culminated in 2015 with a vehicle accident that killed four farmworkers.

March 2, 2016

US Labor Department initiative finds Ames restaurants owe nearly $100K in back wages to more than 150 workers

AMES, Iowa – In “college towns” like the city of Ames, hospitality industry jobs are often filled by students, temporary, or foreign workers – many of whom are new to the workforce. Among the nation’s lowest paid workers, they are often unfamiliar with wage laws and their rights.  Language barriers, fear of retaliation, and fears about immigration status can also cause them to be among those least likely to exercise their rights, leaving them vulnerable to labor violations.