News Release

City of Highland Park, Michigan, Pays $49,181 in Back Wages to Four Police and Firefighters after U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

HIGHLAND PARK, MI After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the City of Highland Park, Michigan, has paid $49,181 in back wages to four current employees for violations of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). WHD also assessed the city $1,368 in penalties because of the repeat nature of the violations.

WHD investigators determined the city violated FLSA overtime provisions after it failed to combine the hours worked by some employees who worked in both fire protection and law enforcement activities. This practice resulted in violations when those employees worked overtime hours, but because the employer did not add together time spent in both tasks, the city failed to recognize and pay the overtime. A 2011 investigation found similar violations.

“Employers must understand the laws that apply to their employees, and ensure that workers are paid all the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Timolin Mitchell, in Detroit, Michigan. “The outcome of this investigation should remind other municipalities and employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law. We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division with questions to better understand their responsibilities so that they can avoid violations like those found in this case.”

The FLSA provides that fire protection or law enforcement employees may be paid overtime on a “work period” basis, with a work period ranging from seven to 28 consecutive days. WHD’s Fact Sheet about law enforcement and fire protection employees provides more information.

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.

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Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
June 12, 2020
Release Number
20-799-CHI
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number
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