News Release

Seattle Security Company Pays Employees $124,000 in Back Wages, Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime Violations

SEATTLE, WA – A California-based security services provider has paid $124,029 in back wages and damages to 30 workers formerly employed as security guards at Amazon’s Seattle Spheres geodesic dome facilities, after a U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

 WHD investigators found Security Industry Specialists Inc. failed to pay security guards overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the employer paid these workers as salaried workers, regardless of the number of hours they worked. Working through meal breaks, working Saturdays and working before and after their scheduled shifts resulted in these employees working more than 40 hours each week. The employer also failed to record the total number of hours employees actually worked, violating FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

 “Employers are required to pay their employees the wages they have legally earned for all the hours that they work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle, Washington. “Paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean they are exempt from or not entitled to overtime. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to educating employers, to improving compliance with federal wage laws to ensure workers receive the wages they have earned, and, that employers compete on a level playing field.”

 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.

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
January 2, 2020
Release Number
19-2232-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali
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