News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in South Carolina Contractor Paying $43,663 in Back Wages, Damages for Overtime Violations

LEXINGTON, SC After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Lucas Builders Inc. – based in Lexington, South Carolina – has paid $43,663 in back wages and liquidated damages to 15 employees for violating overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found the residential construction company violated FLSA overtime requirements when the employer paid employees straight-time rates for all the hours that they worked. This practice resulted in violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but were not paid overtime at time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay. Lucas Builders also misclassified some employees as independent contractors, and also failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The employer also failed to maintain accurate payroll records, in violation of the recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA.

“Employers must pay employees all of the wages they have earned for all of the hours they have worked, including overtime, when applicable,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel, in Columbia, South Carolina. “Employers must fully understand their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act. We encourage employers and employees alike to call our offices to speak directly with trained Wage and Hour professionals and ask any questions they may have. Violations like those in this case can be avoided.”

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
March 13, 2020
Release Number
20-351-ATL
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
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