U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in New Hampshire Hotel and Restaurant Paying $87,771 in Back Wages and Damages to 80 Employees
MANCHESTER, NH – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), The Arlington Resorts LLC and Birch Bar & Bistro LLC – a hotel and restaurant in Bethlehem, New Hampshire – have paid $87,771 in back wages and liquidated damages to 78 employees to resolve minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Arlington Resorts LLC - doing business as the Arlington Hotel - and Birch Bar & Bistro LLC - doing business as Birch Bar & Bistro - share common ownership and management. The hotel also paid a $1,200 civil money penalty for child labor violations.
WHD investigators found the hotel and restaurant misclassified out-of-state temporary employees as independent contractors, and paid them flat salaries without regard to the number of hours that they worked. This practice resulted in both minimum wage and overtime violations when these employees worked more hours than those salaries covered at the federal minimum wage, and when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but the employer did not pay overtime. The employers also failed to maintain time records for the temporary employees.
The employers also failed to combine the hours worked by local employees at the hotel with hours they worked at the restaurant in the same workweek when determining whether overtime was due, resulting in additional violations when those hours together totaled more than 40 per week. They also misapplied exemptions to some salaried employees and subsequently failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
The hotel violated the FLSA’s child labor hours provisions when one 14-year-old employee and one 15-year-old employee worked beyond the times of day and number of hours per week allowed by law.
“Complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act provides employees the wages they have earned and levels the playing field for employers who obey the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Child labor violations are avoidable and all employers should strive to provide a safe and healthy on-the-job experience for young workers. We encourage employers to reach out to us for assistance with their compliance questions at any time.”
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/agencies/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.