U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Plumbing Company Paying $145,297 in Back Wages, Damages for Overtime Violations
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Absolute Plumbing LLC – a residential and commercial plumbing company based in West Palm Beach, Florida – has paid $145,297 in back wages and liquidated damages to 46 employees for violating the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD found Absolute Plumbing LLC paid workers their straight-time hourly rates without regard to the number of hours they worked. This practice resulted in violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, but the employer did not pay overtime. Additional violations occurred when the employer automatically deducted a 30-minute meal break from employees’ work time, regardless of whether their schedules allowed them actually to take those breaks. This practice resulted in violations when employees worked through their breaks, but remained unpaid for that time. In addition, Absolute Plumbing LLC failed to maintain an accurate record of actual number of hours worked by its employees.
“Employers have an obligation to pay their employees for all the hours that they work. This includes paying employees for time spent driving between job sites, and for time when they work through their meal breaks,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Tony Pham, in Miami, Florida. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that businesses that violate labor laws do not gain an unfair advantage over those that play by the rules. We encourage employers and employees to familiarize themselves with their obligations and rights 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, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the 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 https://www.dol.gov/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.