Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Staffing agency to pay nearly $25K in back wages, damages to 15 employees at Kissimmee hotel after US Labor Department investigation
Employer name: Perfect Service Excellent Benefits Services Inc.
Investigation site: 7475 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, Florida 34747
Investigation findings: Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Jacksonville District Office, found that Perfect Service Excellent Benefits Services, a staffing agency that provides workers to the Knights Inn Maingate in Kissimmee, violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The employer misclassified employees working as housekeepers, laundry, maintenance and front desk personnel as independent contractors, instead of employees. Some housekeepers working up to 48 hours a week were paid a piece rate, earning a set amount for each room they cleaned without regard to the number of hours that they worked, resulting in overtime violations when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. Hourly paid employees were paid straight time for their overtime hours. The employer also failed to maintain required time and payroll records.
Resolution: The employer will comply with the FLSA, will pay $12,442 in unpaid overtime wages to 15 employees, and will also pay the workers an equal, additional amount in liquidated damages, totaling $24,884. The division also assessed the employer $7,012 in civil money penalties for the willful and repeat nature of the violations. The division found similar violations of the company in prior investigations.
Quote: “Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is all too common in the hotel industry. It denies employees their rights to critical benefits and protections, such as overtime compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance and safe workplaces protections,” said Daniel White, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville. “The agency is committed to improving compliance in this industry by conducting thorough investigations that ensure workers receive the wages they’ve earned and stop employers who undercut competitors that play by the rules. This investigation is typical of those we refer to our partner agencies for investigation under their laws as well, to fully address these types of violations.”
Information: The division has agreements with 29 states, including Florida, to combat misclassification of employees as independent contractors to ensure workers’ get the wages, benefits and protections to which they are entitled.
More information regarding the Department of Labor’s initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors can be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/Misclassification/index.htm. The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who exercise their rights under the law.
For more information about the FLSA and wage laws or to file a complaint, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243); the Jacksonville District Office at 904-359-9292 or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/.