News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Pipeline Contractor Paying $127,000 in Back Wages, Damages for Failing to Pay Overtime

BORGER, TX After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Team Industrial Services Inc. – operating in Borger, Texas – has paid $127,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 38 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD found the Sugarland, Texas-based employer failed to pay employees for time they spent working before and after their scheduled shifts. Employees who reported to the firm’s location to pick up equipment prior to traveling to the actual worksite, and then returned that equipment at the end of the workday were not paid for that time. That unpaid work time resulted in overtime violations when it occurred in workweeks of 40 hours or greater. The employer’s failure to record that time resulted in recordkeeping violations.

“Employers must understand the law’s requirements for properly documenting the number of hours employees work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Evelyn Sanchez in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “These employees worked additional time in pre- and post-shift activities without pay. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to ensure that employees are paid all the wages they have legally earned, and that employers have access to all the tools and information they need to comply with 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 with local WHD staff.

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.

The mission of WHD 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.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
November 14, 2019
Release Number
19-1730-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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