News Release

Electric Contractor Pays $89,370 in Back Wages, Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime Pay Violations

LEVELLAND, TX After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Ricky L. Bryant Ltd. – doing business as Bryant Electric in Levelland, Texas – has paid $44,685 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 43 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found that the employer automatically deducted time for meal breaks from employees’ hours regardless of whether or not they had actually taken those breaks. The employer failed to pay employees who worked through their breaks for time they worked, and failed to record all of the hours employees worked – both FLSA violations.

“Employers must understand the law’s requirements and pay workers all of the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Evelyn Sanchez in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to ensure that employees are paid as the law requires. Other employers that automatically deduct for meal breaks should use this investigation as an opportunity to review their pay practices to ensure they are not committing the same violation.”

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.

Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by 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
February 3, 2020
Release Number
20-40-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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