Indiana Manufacturer to Pay $338,151 in Overtime Back Wages and Damages to 1,199 Employees Following U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
ELKHART, IN – Recreational vehicle parts manufacturer Lippert Components – based in Elkhart, Indiana – will pay $338,151 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages to 1,199 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that found violations of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at 53 plants nationwide.
WHD investigators found that when determining overtime rates, the employer failed to include in the calculation certain bonuses employees had earned. Instead of computing overtime at time-and-one-half employees' total straight time earnings, including these bonuses, the employer based that calculation only on employees' pre-bonus earnings. Excluding the bonuses resulted in artificially lowered overtime rates, violating the FLSA.
"Employers are obligated to pay employees all the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Patricia Lewis in Indianapolis. "Employers have an obligation to understand and to comply with the labor laws applicable to their business. We encourage employers to make use of the many tools we provide to help them, and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance to ensure they understand their obligations."
In September 2016, Lippert Components began including the bonuses in question in employee's regular rates of pay in overtime work weeks. However, the employer failed to make any retro-active payments. As a result of this investigation the employer paid back wages for pay periods preceding the date that they began to comply with the law.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.