U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Tampa Construction Company Paying $38,544 in Back Wages and Damages
TAMPA, FL – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Environmental Construction Inc. – operating as ECI and based in Tampa, Florida – has paid $38,544 in back wages and liquidated damages to 16 employees for violating the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found that Environmental Construction Inc. failed to pay employees for time they worked before their scheduled shifts began, and for time traveling to and from work sites. WHD determined that the employer directed employees to report to the firm's headquarters and begin their workday by loading tools and equipment into company vehicles, then traveling to various work sites. The employer failed to record or pay for any time workers spent in those duties, instead recording their arrival at the remote worksites as their start times. This practice resulted in overtime violations of the FLSA when this unpaid work time combined with work site hours exceeded 40 hours in a workweek.
WHD also found the employer incorrectly classified a clerical employee as a managerial employee and paid a flat salary regardless of the number of hours worked. This practice resulted in additional overtime violations when this employee worked more than 40 hours in a week, but was not paid overtime. The employer also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements by failing to keep an accurate record of the number of hours employees worked.
"Simply because a pay practice may appear to be common in an industry does not mean that it complies with the law," said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Schmidt, in Tampa. "Employers must pay employees all the wages they have legally earned. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for guidance and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them understand their responsibilities."
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.