U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Automotive Service Chain Paying $342,926 in Back Wages for Overtime Violations at 100 Midwest Stores
ALLEN PARK, MI – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Michigan-based automotive tire and service retail chain Belle Tire has agreed to pay $342,926 in back wages to 1,207 employees at 100 locations in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
WHD investigators determined Belle Tire violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when the company failed to include incentive bonuses and sales commissions earned by employees in their rates of pay when calculating their overtime payment. Instead, Belle Tire paid workers time-and-one-half of only their base rates, without considering the amounts by which these bonuses and commissions had boosted employees’ straight time earnings. The violation affected non-exempted employees including – but not limited to – tire technicians, mechanics, sales staff, mobile auto glass mechanics, and those offering roadside assistance.
“Wage violations can be avoided when employers understand the requirements under federal labor law. Belle Tire is now training its store managers, supervisors, and payroll personnel to ensure they compute overtime properly and employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Timolin Mitchell, Wage and Hour District Director in Detroit. “This employer remained very cooperative during the investigation and the company wants to ensure compliance at all their locations. We encourage all employers to contact the Division for guidance and assistance to avoid violations.”
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 www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.