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News Brief

Labor Department obtains consent judgment against Shivam Hospitality for violations resulting from misclassifying employees as independent contractors

Employer name: Shivam Hospitality LLC, formerly doing business as Super 8 motel, and as of early 2015 doing business as the Florence Aston Hotel.

Investigation site: 7928 Dream Street, Florence, Kentucky 41042

Investigation findings: Investigators found that the employers misclassified their housekeeping, laundry, front desk and maintenance staff as independent contractors rather than as employees, and denied them minimum wage and overtime compensation as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, the employers did not keep accurate time and attendance records.

Resolution: On May 7, 2015, Judge David L. Bunning, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Covington, approved a consent judgment between the department and Shivam Hospitality LLC and its owners, Mahesh Nichani and Saurabh Taneja. Shivam Hospitality LLC and its owners will pay a total of $119,434 to 43 employees, which include back wages and an additional equal amount in liquidated damages for all affected employees who worked at the hotel from July 26, 2012 until January 5, 2015. The defendants have agreed to be under a permanent injunction to ensure future compliance with the FLSA, including a promise not to violate the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA when employees exercise their rights under the FLSA. The complaint alleged that Shivam Hospitality LLC and its owners/managers, violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA by intimidating and retaliating against employees who were cooperating with investigators. The investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division's Louisville District Office and was litigated by the department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Nashville.

Quote: "Shivam Hospitality deliberately misclassified these low-wage workers as independent contractors, denying them the pay and protections they rightfully earned," said Karen Garnett, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Louisville. "This consent judgment demonstrates that the agency will use every tool available to ensure that employees are properly classified and receive the wages they are due, and sends a clear message that retaliating against employees who cooperate with investigations will not be tolerated."

Civil Action Number: 2:15-cv-00066-DLB-CJS

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
May 8, 2015
Release Number
15-0393-ATL
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Contact: Lindsay Williams
Phone Number