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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Court Ordering Chicago Pallet Manufacturer to Pay $124,370 in Back Wages, Damages to 20 Employees

CHICAGO, IL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), a federal court has ordered Great Lakes Lumber and Pallet Inc. – based in Chicago, Illinois – and owner David Radzieta to pay $124,370 in overtime wages and liquidated damages to 20 employees for failing to pay overtime wages. The court also ordered the employer to pay $15,120 in civil money penalties for willfully violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined that - beginning in January 2016 - the employer issued two checks to employees each time it paid them: one check at regular straight-time rates for the first 40 hours they worked, and a second check, also at straight time but drawn on a different bank account, for any hours they worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Payroll and time records originally provided to WHD showed only the non-overtime hours. The investigation determined, and the employer admitted, that the employer deliberately issued the two separate checks in an attempt to conceal the fact that employees worked overtime, and to create the appearance of compliance with the FLSA.

“Employers are responsible for paying their employees all of the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour District Director Thomas Gauza, in Chicago. “We encourage employers to contact the Department’s Wage and Hour Division for guidance on laws governing overtime, recordkeeping, and any of the other requirements we enforce, and to use the many tools we offer to help employers comply with the law.”

To resolve this matter, the employer agreed to the entry of a consent judgment issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the Division’s 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 including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago
Docket Number: 18-cv-02968

Wage and Hour Division
December 18, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number