News Release

Iowa Construction Company Pays $126,420 in Overtime Back Wages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Violations

SOLON, IA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), E & J Electric Inc. – based in Solon, Iowa, and operates as both E & J Electric Inc. & E & J Geothermal Inc. – has paid $126,420 in back wages to 25 current and former employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined the construction company violated overtime provisions when it failed to pay employees for time spent in required travel returning to the employer’s shop at the end of the workday. Instead, the employer stopped paying for workers’ time when they left the outlying job sites. Additional violations occurred when the employer offered employees compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Private employers cannot offer “comp time” instead of paying overtime. WHD investigators also determined the company’s destruction of paper records – along with the unintentional deletion of computer records – resulted in FLSA recordkeeping violations.

“Federal law prohibits private companies from offering comp time off in lieu of wages earned, and requires companies to pay employees for time they spend traveling on behalf of the company during work hours,” said Wage and Hour District Director Marcy Boldman, in Des Moines, Iowa. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers to use the wide variety of compliance tools we offer to understand these pay requirements, and to contact us for guidance. Employers may call us and speak with a trained Wage and Hour professional about any questions they have.”

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.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
January 27, 2020
Release Number
20-85-KAN
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
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