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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Florida Farm Paying $18,844 in Back Wages to 14 Employees for Wage Violations

OCOEE, FL - After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Lake Meadow Naturals LLC – an agricultural employer based in Ocoee, Florida – has paid $18,844 in back wages to 14 employees for violating overtime, recordkeeping, and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found Lake Meadow Naturals LLC was ineligible for an agricultural exemption it claimed from overtime requirements, and that it consequently failed to pay employees time-and-one-half for hours they worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Investigators determined that the employees performed inventory and repackaged items received from other farms, and regularly worked in the facility's store handling and selling products from other farms. The agricultural exemption from the FLSA's overtime requirements applies to employees involved in processing and/or packaging products grown only by that employer. Once employees packed goods brought in from other suppliers, the exemption did not apply, and they were due overtime.

WHD determined that the employer misapplied another overtime exemption for several of its employees when it considered them to be exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements as salaried managers. These employees were found to be due overtime when their job duties failed to meet the criteria for the FLSA's "white collar" exemptions. Lake Meadow Naturals also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements when the employer failed to keep accurate time and payroll records as required by law.

WHD also found that Lake Meadow Naturals employed a 15-year-old employee to work outside of the hours allowed for 14- and 15-year-old workers, a violation of FLSA child labor requirements.

"The Wage and Hour Division engages in robust education and outreach efforts to provide information to agricultural and other employers so that they have the tools they need to comply with the law," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. "We encourage all employers to review their legal obligations and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance. Violations like these can be avoided."

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

Wage and Hour Division
March 13, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino