PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor and a Philadelphia commercial printer have entered into a consent judgment that requires the company to pay $273,892 in back wages and liquidated damages to a group of temporary employees to resolve past violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Under the agreement, back wages will be paid to 136 temporary employees who worked as machine operators and general laborers at Bartash Printing, Inc. An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions.
Bartash used a temporary help agency, VQ Management, Inc. – doing business as Managed Staffing and/or Best Staff – to acquire the workers, but failed to ensure they were paid the legally required wages. The workers were paid $6.25/per hour in cash, below the required federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Bartash also failed to ensure the workers received the required overtime payments when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. Bartash also failed to maintain the required payroll records for these workers.
“Although Bartash acquired workers through a temporary agency, it still had a legal responsibility as a joint employer to ensure that the workers received proper wages as the law requires,” said James Cain, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Philadelphia District Office. “The resolution of this case should inform other employers who may acquire employees through a temporary help agency – it illustrates their responsibility to ensure that these temporary workers are being paid in compliance with the law.”
Bartash Printing specializes in newspaper and magazine publishing, including press, bindery and mail operations. In addition to the back wages and liquidated damages, the company has agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $31,350.
The Wage and Hour Division is committed to providing companies with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, the division’s Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialists conduct ongoing outreach activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups and professional associations, among others, with accessible, easy-to-understand information about their rights and responsibilities.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the 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.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
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Editor’s Note: A change was made in the third paragraph to clarify the responsibility for wages.