Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Georgia Gas Station and Check-Cashing Businesses Pay $88,712 in Back Wages to 39 Employees after U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – A gas station group and two check-cashing businesses have paid $88,712 in back wages to 39 employees after U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigations found violations of the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The companies involved in the Department’s Wage and Hour Division investigations are Shifa Food & Gas LLC, which does business as Big EZ Chevron/Rainforest Chevron, and M&M Check Cashing LLC. Investigators found that Shifa Foods and M&M Check Cashing LLC shared employees despite having different owners, to the point that some workers were cashiers at the gas stations and at the check-cashing businesses, located within the gas stations, while on the same shift. These workers did not receive overtime because the companies incorrectly treated them as independent contractors rather than as their employees, investigators found.
The Department also investigated All Check Solutions LLC, which shares the same owner as M&M Check Cashing LLC, Sameer Lalani. While employees of All Check Solutions did not work in the Shifa Food gas stations, the Department’s investigation found he employed the same pay practices at both M&M Check Cashing and All Check Solutions, resulting in identical violations.
The companies failed to pay the federal minimum wage for their employees’ training hours, and made illegal deductions from workers’ pay for allegedly failing to stock items properly in the store or mistakenly accepting bad checks from customers. The companies violated the FLSA recordkeeping requirements when they failed to maintain a record of payments made to workers they incorrectly considered to be independent contractors.
All Check Solutions paid $18,269 in back wages to nine employees, while Shifa Food & Gas and M&M Check Cashing paid $70,443 in back wages to 30 employees. The three companies agreed to future compliance with the FLSA, and to implement a timekeeping and payroll system that will automatically calculate overtime pay.
“The resolution of this case puts these wages into the hands of workers who rightfully earned them,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Williams, in Atlanta. “We urge companies to reach out to the Wage and Hour Division for information they need to comply with the law.”
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 http://www.dol.gov/whd. including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.