U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Wyoming Motel Owners Paying Employees $189,466 for Minimum Wage, Overtime Violations
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – After an investigation by the U.S Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Sunil and Parul Patel – owners of a Motel 6 and Super 8 motel in Riverton, Wyoming – will pay $189,466 to three employees for federal wage violations as part of a consent judgment lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Investigators found the employer violated overtime and minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The violations occurred when the employer paid front desk clerks flat weekly rates that – when divided by the number of hours they were working – resulted in the clerks receiving between $2.00 and $5.15 per hour. Additionally, the employer failed to keep records of the actual hours worked by the clerks and initially produced false records to WHD, before admitting to fabricating the records. WHD has investigated the employer four times previously.
In the consent judgment, the employer agreed to pay $94,733 in unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay to three front desk clerks, along with an equal additional amount in liquidated damages, for a total of $189,466. The agreement also permanently enjoins the employer from future violations of the FLSA, and the employer will pay a civil money penalty of $2,179.
"Employers must pay their employees for all the hours they work – including legally required minimum wage and overtime rates and maintain complete and accurate records. Failing to pay employees as the law requires short-changes them and puts law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage," said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas, Texas. "We encourage other employers to see this case as an opportunity to evaluate their own pay practices, ensure compliance and understand that providing false information to the U.S. Department of Labor is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
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). 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 www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you 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 United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.