U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Oregon Construction Contractor Paying $98,461 to 51 Employees to Resolve Overtime Violations
PORTLAND, OR – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), TT& L Sheet Metal Inc. – based in Beaverton, Oregon – will pay $98,461 in back wages to 51 employees for violating overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found that the employer failed to include time that employees spent driving when they totaled the employees' hours each week to determine whether overtime was due. Additional overtime violations resulted when the employer based overtime rates on employees' lowest pay rates earned during each week. Some employees earned rates that varied widely between projects within the course of a workweek, requiring the employer to pay overtime based upon the weighted average of those rates, or upon the rates employees were paid while actually working the overtime hours. The employer's practice of making deductions from employees' pay for tools required for their jobs resulted in additional violations.
"Violations like these are among the most common that we find in this industry, and they are completely avoidable," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva, in Portland, Oregon. "We encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we provide or to reach out to us directly for confidential assistance in understanding and complying with federal labor laws. Employers may speak with trained Wage and Hour professionals to get their questions answered and avoid violations."
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.