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News Release

After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation, Tennessee Auto Dealership Pays $58,739 in Back Wages

KINGSPORT, TN – Kingsport, Tennessee, automobile dealership Rick Hill Imports Inc. has paid $58,739 in back wages to 20 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the company violated minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined that Rick Hill Imports Inc. – which specializes in BMWs and Mercedes vehicles – failed to pay sales personnel during workweeks where they sold no vehicles, causing the affected employees’ pay to fall below the minimum wage rate for the pay period. In addition, the employer required employees to attend vehicle manufacture certification training and employees received no compensation for those hours worked.

Rick Hill Imports Inc. also failed to record the hours worked by its employees and to have the FLSA poster displayed in areas where employees worked, both violations of the recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA.

“A commission-based pay practice does not alleviate an employer’s responsibility to pay its employees at least the minimum wage rate for all hours worked,” said Nettie Lewis, Wage and Hour Division District Director in Nashville. “We encourage all employers to review their pay practices and contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance. Doing so can help ensure all employees are paid properly and that all employers operate on a level playing field.”

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
May 10, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino