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US Labor Department recovers more than $342K in unpaid overtime wages, damages for 22 So Cal construction and maintenance employees
Employer: Salinas Inc.
Site: 1537 E. McFadden Avenue, Suite G, Santa Ana, California 92705
Investigation findings: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that Salinas Inc. violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The firm paid field workers, such as plumbers and carpet cleaners, a fixed semi-monthly salary regardless of the hours these employees actually worked. Some of these workers were also paid an additional flat rate for service calls. These employees often worked as many as 70 hours per week, but were not paid legally-required overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The carpeting, plumbing, painting and janitorial general contractor did use time cards for office staff but failed to keep any records of hours worked by their field employees, as required under federal law.
Resolution: Salinas will pay $171,428 in overtime back wages plus an equal, additional amount in liquidated damages, totaling $342,856 to 22 workers.
Quote: "When employers disregard employees' rights to legally-required overtime pay, they not only harm workers and their families, but they also put law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage," said Rodolfo Cortez, director of the Wage and Hour Division's San Diego District Office. "Other employers should take note of this investigation, and ensure that they are in compliance with the law. As the back wages and damages paid in this case illustrate, we are committed to ensuring that workers receive every penny they have rightfully earned. Other employees being paid in this manner should give us a call. Our services are free, and confidential."
Information: Simply paying employees a salary does not necessarily mean they are not entitled to minimum wage and overtime. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. On June 30, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update the regulations defining which white collar workers are eligible to receive pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/NPRM2015.
The FLSA requires that covered, non-exempt 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 rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records, and are prohibited from retaliating against workers who exercise their rights under the law. For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), or the San Diego office at 619-557-5110. Information also is available at www.dol.gov/whd/
- Read this news release in Spanish.