Federal Court Orders West Virginia Construction Company To Pay $132,818 to Resolve Overtime Wage Violations
BLUEFIELD, WV - The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has entered a consent judgment requiring Lambert Construction of Bluefield Inc. to pay $116,818 in back wages and liquidated damages to 45 employees. Additionally, the Bluefield, West Virginia, construction company will pay $16,000 in civil penalties to resolve overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
The action comes after the Department’s Wage and Hour Division found Lambert Construction of Bluefield Inc., doing business as Lambert Construction; ELL Real Estate LLC; and owner Alex Lambert failed to pay employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. To create the appearance that overtime had not been worked, the firm paid employees with two separate checks each week, splitting hours between two payroll accounts within their business so that each check reflected fewer than 40 hours. Citing the willfulness of the violations, the judgment also assessed the civil penalties.
In addition to paying the back wages, damages, and penalties, the consent judgment permanently enjoins the companies and Lambert from violating the FLSA in the future.
“This settlement not only ensures Lambert’s employees will receive all of the wages they rightfully earned, it also levels the playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Catherine Glencoe, Wage and Hour Assistant Director in Charleston.
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 for hours worked beyond 40 per work week.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact its 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 the Division collects.