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News Release

Chattanooga Company Agrees to Pay Back Wages and Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime and Other FLSA Violations

CHATTANOOGA, TN – MetalTek International Inc. – a foundry and machinist shop in Chattanooga – has agreed to pay a total of $335,680 in back pay and liquidated damages to 68 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not allowing its workers to put on and remove protective equipment while on the clock.

Investigators found that the company did not pay the workers for the time spent taking safety precautions before and after work amid high levels of lead and other job hazards. The precautions, which MetalTek required, included donning protective equipment before entering work areas, and then removing and storing the equipment, and showering before leaving work each day. In doing so, the company violated the FLSA overtime provision.

“The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for all hours that they work, which includes putting on or removing protective equipment required to perform their duties,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie M. Lewis, in Nashville. “The resolution of this case ensures that these workers are paid the wages they have legally earned, and levels the playing field for law-abiding employers.”

The investigation covered a three-year period. In addition to the wage violations, the Division also found MetalTek violated FLSA recordkeeping provisions by failing to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

The company agreed to pay the back wages and damages, and to comply with the FLSA in the future.

Headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin, MetalTek produces machined centrifugal, continuous and sand cast components.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD. 

Wage and Hour Division
November 15, 2017
Release Number
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Contact: Michael D'Aquino