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Premier Limousine ordered to pay $500,000 in back wages and damages to 183 underpaid drivers following US Labor Department actions
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A judgment entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut resolves a lawsuit filed against S.D. Transportation Services LLC, doing business as Premier Limousine, and owner Stephen DiMarco, by the U.S. Department of Labor in March 2012. Premier Limousine, a Berlin company, will pay a total of $500,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 183 drivers who were denied legally required overtime wages.
"We found many employees working long hours without any overtime compensation. Unfortunately, these types of labor violations are all too common in the limousine industry. That is why our investigators continue to make unannounced visits to limousine services throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island to identify and remedy such violations and to help ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers," said Michelle Garvey, district director of the Wage and Hour Division's Hartford office. "This judgment commits this employer to making restitution and to obeying the law in the future."
The department filed the suit after an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division found that the defendants had violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by underpaying drivers who regularly operated sedans, limousines and sport utility vehicles by paying them straight time rather than the legally required overtime of time and one-half their regular rates of pay when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, the defendants' payroll records failed to reflect drivers' total daily and weekly hours, as required by the FLSA.
"Employers must understand that when they underpay their employees, the department will seek not only the back wages due to employees but also liquidated damages, where appropriate, to compensate those employees for their wage loss," said Michael Felsen, the department's regional solicitor of labor for New England. "Violators will no longer enjoy what, is in essence, an interest-free loan from their employees' paychecks."
In addition to the payment of back wages, liquidated damages and interest, the judgment enjoins and restrains S.D. Transportation from future violations of the overtime and record-keeping requirements of the FLSA.
The case was investigated by the Wage and Hour Division's Hartford District Office. Attorney Scott Miller of the department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston litigated the case.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt 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 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), its Hartford District Office at 860-240-4160 or its New Haven Area Office at 203-773-2249. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
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Perez v. S.D. Transportation Services LLC and Stephen DiMarco Civil Action Number: 12-cv-00490 (JBA)