U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Federal Court Ordering Pennsylvania Printing and Bindery Company to Pay $598,366 in Back Wages, Damages, and Penalties
LANSDALE, PA – Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has entered a consent judgment requiring Fox Bindery Inc. – based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania – and owner Henry J. Fox to pay $274,183 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 556 current and former employees. The Department also assessed the employer and its owner a $50,000 civil money penalty due to the willful nature of the violations.
Investigators found Fox Bindery Inc. violated the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Investigators found that - from March 11, 2013, to March 6, 2016 - Fox Bindery Inc. used workers obtained through temporary employment agencies to fill laborer positions. WHD determined Fox Bindery Inc. and the employment agencies jointly employed the temporary workers. WHD's investigation also found that the temporary employment agencies knowingly failed to pay temporary employees for additional time they worked in excess of 40 hours a week, and knowingly paid employees who performed work for Fox Bindery Inc. less than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a FLSA violation. Investigators also determined Fox Bindery Inc. made no effort to determine if these employees were properly paid, despite receiving detailed invoices from the temporary staffing agencies.
"The use of temporary staffing agencies by Fox Bindery Inc. does not excuse its responsibility to comply with federal wage and hour regulations," said Wage and Hour District Director James Cain, in Philadelphia. "The Wage and Hour Division offers numerous tools to help employers learn about their responsibilities and how to comply with the law."
"This consent judgment will help to ensure that employees are paid the wages they are rightfully owed, and that some employers do not gain an unfair competitive advantage over other employers that comply with the law," said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III.
In addition to paying back wages, liquidated damages, and civil money penalties, Fox Bindery Inc. and its owner have agreed to change its business practices and comply with the FLSA in the future.
The Division's Philadelphia District Office investigated the case.
The Department provides numerous resources and tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
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 its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.