U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Florida Grocery Store Paying $198,039 in Back Wages and Liquidated Damages to 17 Employees
TAMPA, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), El Grande Supermarket Corp. – operating as El Grande Supermarket in Tampa, Florida – will pay $198,039 in back wages and liquidated damages to 17 employees for violating the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found El Grande Supermarket Corp. paid one employee a fixed salary without regard to the number of hours the employee worked. This practice resulted in a minimum wage violation when that salary failed to cover all of the hours that the employee worked at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The employer also paid overtime-eligible employees straight time rates when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, violating the FLSA’s overtime requirements. WHD also found recordkeeping violations when the employer failed to record cash payments made to workers, and when El Grande failed to maintain other required payroll records.
“The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to ensure employees are being paid for all the hours that they work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Schmidt, in Tampa. “We remain committed to ensuring that employers who comply with the law do not find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to those who do not. We provide a wide variety of educational materials to help employers understand their responsibilities, and we staff offices nationwide to assist employers with compliance questions.”
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.