U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Guam Bakeries Violated Federal Overtime Law
DEDEDO, GU – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), two Guam bakeries – New Fresh Bread Bakeshop in Dededo and Café Panadero in Yigo – will pay $108,929 in back wages and liquidated damages to 20 employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime requirements. WHD has also assessed $7,535 in civil penalties against the employer.
WHD investigators found the bakeries and their owner, Zenaida Milano, failed to pay employees overtime at time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek, as the law requires. Instead, Milano continued to pay employees their straight time rates for the overtime hours. The employer acknowledged not paying overtime, and told investigators that employees agreed with the arrangement in order to secure more hours of work.
"Federal law prohibits an employer from entering into any agreement with employees to waive their right to overtime pay," said Wage and Hour District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu, Hawaii. "Simply because an employee may agree to a particular arrangement does not make it legal. Our work to enforce these requirements ensures workers receive all the wages they have legally earned, and levels the playing field for employers."
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. In addition, WHD provides employers with compliance assistance resources related to overtime to help them comply with the FLSA.
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.