Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Money transfer companies violate wage laws, underpay more than 100 employees
DALLAS — Many workers in Texas with families in Mexico and Central America depend on money-transfer businesses to send money to their loved ones. America Transfers Inc. and Mexico Transfers Inc. employees work long hours to help these workers support their families abroad. Unfortunately, their employers and the companies' owners, Silvia Miranda and Jose Zamudio, had no similar concern for their workers. Wage and Hour Division Dallas District Office investigators found employees were willfully and repeatedly underpaid.
Miranda and Zamudio willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by taking cash-register shortages from workers' paychecks and misrepresenting deductions made to pay as insurance or garnishments. These illegal, repeated and willful deductions forced the employees' pay below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. As a result of the investigation, the companies must pay 111 employees more than $15,000 in minimum wage back wages and $61,050 in civil penalties for the FLSA violations.
A 2009 Wage and Hour Division investigation of the joint enterprise owned by Miranda and Zamudio found they did not pay for hours worked off the clock and made employees pay for cash shortages. As a result of that investigation, the employers paid $1,344 in minimum and overtime back wages to three workers and were also fined $660 in civil money penalties.
"Miranda and Zamudio willfully violated federal wage laws. Their actions hurt workers, their community and the local economy," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "We will continue to use enforcement tools, such as civil penalties, to ensure that all workers are paid as the law requires."
America Transfers Inc. has 57 locations, which operate in Texas, Arizona and Illinois; Mexico Transfers has 33 locations in Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington. Miranda and Zamudio own the enterprise.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs13.htm.
For more information about federal wage laws, or to file a complaint, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Dallas District Office at 817-861-2150. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
- Read this news release in Spanish.