U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Recovers $15,917 In Back Wages and Damages for 25 Mississippi Hotel Employees
BATESVILLE, MS – Prime Inns Inc. – operator of a Hampton Inn hotel in Batesville, Mississippi – has paid $15,917 in back wages and liquidated damages to 25 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation determined the employer violated minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found that Prime Inns Inc., based in Olive Branch, Mississippi, automatically deducted 30 minutes from employees' work time for meal breaks, even when they worked through those breaks. This practice resulted in minimum wage violations when the employer failed to pay housekeepers for all of the hours they had worked, and in overtime violations when this unpaid time resulted in employees working more than 40 hours per week, without overtime. The employer's practice of paying overtime after 80 hours in a two-week period, instead of after 40 hours in one workweek, resulting in additional overtime violations.
WHD also determined the Prime Inns Inc. edited employee timesheets to reduce their numbers of hours to avoid paying overtime, and failed to include bonuses in their calculations for overtime, causing the employer to pay rates lower than those required by law. In addition, recordkeeping violations resulted due to the employer's failure to keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked.
"When employers intentionally violate the law by falsifying time and payroll records to pay their workers less than the law allows, everyone loses," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall, in Jackson. "These unlawful pay practices harm workers, and give the employer an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers in the industry."
The Wage and Hour Division provides a wide variety of tools to educate employers about their responsibilities and to help them avoid violations. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.