Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Wildland Firefighting and Roofing Company Paying $73,383 to Resolve Overtime Violations
PORTLAND, OR – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), West Coast Reforestation Inc. – based in Salem, Oregon – will pay $73,383 to 26 employees for violating overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employer will also pay $7,239 in civil penalties for violations of the FLSA’s child labor requirements.
WHD investigators found that the employer violated overtime requirements when it failed to include production bonuses and daily payments made to some workers for driving in their regular rates of pay when computing overtime. Excluding these amounts from the calculation resulted in the employer paying overtime at rates lower than those required by law. Additional violations stemmed from the employer failing to record and pay for all of the hours some employees worked. That unpaid time resulted in overtime violations when it occurred in workweeks longer than 40 hours. West Coast Reforestation was also cited for recordkeeping violations for its failure to keep accurate time records.
Additionally, the employer was found to have violated child labor requirements when it employed four workers under 18 years old to perform roofing activities, which the law prohibits for minor employees.
“Employees must receive all the wages they have legally earned, so that employers who comply with the law compete on a level economic playing field,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva, in Portland, Oregon. “These types of violations can be avoided. We encourage employers to reach out to us for information and assistance in understanding their responsibilities. Particularly when minor employees are involved, understanding the rules is critical.”
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 Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s 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.