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News Release

Watco Terminal & Port Services to pay 261 North Dakota workers more than $300K in back wages following US Labor Department investigation

MINOT, N.D. — An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that load operators at three Watco Terminal & Port Services' locations in Belfield, Stanley and Tioga were not paid for pre-shift work, as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Watco will pay 261 workers a total of $304,094 in overtime back wages.

"People must be compensated for all time on the job, including before and after a shift," said Charles Frasier, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Denver. "We hope other local employers take note of this case and ensure they are paying their workers properly."

The investigation found that employees were not compensated for required attendance at pre-shift safety and turnover meetings. Another overtime violation occurred when Watco failed to compute overtime properly. The company also failed to maintain accurate records of all hours worked.

Watco is based in Pittsburg, Kansas. The company provides rail-centric logistics solutions at U.S. locations.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law. For more information about the FLSA, visit or call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).


Wage and Hour Division
December 2, 2014
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
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