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News Release

Texas Construction Company Pays Back Wages to Misclassified Employees After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Violations

SPRING, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Aztec Construction Inc. – doing business as RSP Aztec Construction Inc. in Spring, Texas – has paid $25,380 in back wages to five employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime requirements.

WHD investigators found the employer classified its employees improperly as independent contractors, leading to overtime violations when the employer paid straight-time rates after employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. The law requires the employer pay time-and-one-half an employee's regular rate of pay for hours the employees work over 40 in a workweek. Aztec Construction also failed to keep required time and payroll records, violating federal recordkeeping provisions.

"Improperly categorizing employees as independent contractors can lead to costly overtime violations that simultaneously short employees and create unfair competition for employers who obey the law," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Robin Mallett in Houston, Texas. "We encourage all employers to review our information online or come to our office for assistance in understanding their obligations under the law."

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, electronic toolkits, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

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 Division, contact the 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.

WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the U.S.; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
September 23, 2019
Release Number
19-1569-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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