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News Release

Sulphur, Louisiana, Contractor Pays $495,901 in Back Wages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime Violations

SULPHUR, LA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Versa Integrity Group Inc. – based in Sulphur, Louisiana – has paid $495,901 in back wages to 411 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

WHD investigators determined that the enterprise – which provides non-destructive testing services at 22 locations in Texas, Louisiana and Florida – erroneously classified wages as per diem payments to its employees who provide inspections, maintenance and repair services for industrial refining, chemical and offshore applications. The practice resulted in violations when the employer failed to include those amounts in employees’ regular rates of pay when calculating overtime. Excluding those amounts resulted in overtime being paid at rates lower than those required by law. This inaccuracy also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

“Simply labeling a payment as ‘per diem’ does not necessarily exclude it from the calculation when determining  overtime rates,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton, in New Orleans, Louisiana. “This investigation revealed a violation we find in many industries. The Wage and Hour Division remains committed to improving compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act through a combination of education and enforcement, and encourages all employers to reach out to us confidentially with any questions about their obligations.”

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 including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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 opportunites for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Wage and Hour Division
March 3, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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