U.S. Department of Labor Recovers $61,875 in Back Wages For Tortilla Factory Workers in the Texas Rio Grande Valley
MISSION, TX – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), FELMEX LLC – a tortilla factory with four locations in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley – has paid $61,875 in overtime back wages to 46 employees to resolve violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found FELMEX LLC – operating as Tortilleria Aries – violated the FLSA when it failed to combine employees’ hours when they worked at multiple locations. The employer classified some employees as independent contractors and paid them a fixed salary, and failed to pay hourly employees overtime for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer also failed to include bonuses in the employees’ regular rate of pay. The employer also violated the FLSA’s recordkeeping provision.
“Employers must ensure they know the requirements of the federal labor laws,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nathan Barrow, in McAllen, Texas. “Employer are responsible for learning the different provisions of the law. We encourage employers to contact us with any federal labor law questions.”
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 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 McNamara-O'Hara 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.