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News Release

Austin Clean-up Company Pays $44,400 in Back Wages to Employees After a U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

AUSTIN, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), The Steam Team Inc. – based in Austin, Texas – has paid $44,400 in back wages to 11 employees to resolve overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Investigators found that the employer improperly classified 11 employees as independent contractors when they were, in fact, employees. As a result of the misclassification, the employer failed to pay those employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a work week. WHD also cited the employer for FLSA recordkeeping violations and for failing to provide general notice to its employees about their rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

“Employers must ensure that they pay all of their employees all the wages they have earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicole Sellers in Austin, Texas. “All employers need to familiarize themselves with federal wage laws to determine who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. We encourage anyone with questions to call us to speak with a trained Wage and Hour professional to get his or her questions answered.”

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, and confidential calls to local WHD offices.

Employers who 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 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.

Wage and Hour Division
June 24, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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