U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in South Florida Construction Company Paying $86,530 in Back Wages
SUNRISE, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), J & J Inc. – a painting and water-proofing company based in Sunrise, Florida – will pay $86,530 in back wages to 25 employees for violating overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined that J & J Inc. – operating as Eagle Painting – incorrectly classified the majority of its employees as independent contractors, paying them a straight-time rate for all hours worked, which resulted in overtime violations when the employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The employer also directed employees to begin workdays by loading equipment into company vehicles before traveling to work sites. WHD found that J & J Inc. did not start recording work hours until the employees arrived at the work site and failed to pay the employees for any of their pre-shift work loading vehicles, or for their travel time to and from the job sites. This practice resulted in overtime violations of the FLSA when the pre-shift hours and work site hours combined to exceed 40 hours in a workweek.
In addition, WHD found that J & J Inc. failed to maintain accurate records that included employees' travel time to and from work sites, and did not include staff incorrectly classified as independent contractors.
"The law requires employers to pay workers for all the hours they work, including any time spent working before or after scheduled shifts, or traveling between job sites during the workday," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Tony Pham, in Miami. "The Wage and Hour Division works to ensure that employees receive the wages they rightfully earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field. We encourage all employers to reach out to us 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.