Oklahoma Oil Service Waste Disposal Company Resolves Overtime, Child Labor Violations Found in U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Backyard Energy Services – based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – has paid $253,399 in back wages and $2,163 civil money penalties to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime, child labor, and recordkeeping requirements.
The employer violated federal overtime law when it misclassified employees as independent contractors and paid them flat daily rates without regard to the number of hours they worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when the company failed to pay overtime to these employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Investigators also found Backyard Energy Services erroneously classified its intrastate drivers as exempt from FLSA-overtime requirements, and paid them flat salaries without consideration for overtime pay when they worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The company also failed to keep records of the number of hours employees worked as required by the FLSA.
In addition, Backyard Energy Services violated child labor laws when it employed a 17-year-old to operate a front-end loader and track hoe.
"Employers have a legal responsibility to pay their employees for all of the hours that they work, including overtime hours," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Michael Speer, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "By enforcing the FLSA, the U.S. Department of Labor helps to level the playing field for all employers and ensure workers get the wages and employment protections they are due."
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 the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.