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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Iowa Manufacturer Paying 150 Employees $279,505 in Back Wages

NEW HAMPTON, IA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Precision of New Hampton Inc. – based in New Hampton, Iowa – will pay 150 employees a total of $279,505 in back wages for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The WHD investigation found the manufacturer of torque convertors violated the FLSA by deducting breaks shorter than 30 minutes from employees’ pay as lunch breaks. The FLSA requires employers to pay for short rest breaks, usually 20 minutes or less, as work time. Meal periods, typically 30 minutes or longer, may be unpaid as long as workers are completely relieved of job duties during that time.

“Employers must provide a minimum of 30 minutes for a bona fide meal break if they intend to deduct the time from an employee’s time records. They must also ensure that employees do not perform work during that time," said Wage and Hour District Director Marcy Boldman, in Des Moines, Iowa. “The Department of Labor works to ensure employers comply with federal law so that every employee receives the wages they have rightfully earned. We encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we offer to educate themselves and to ensure they comply with the law. We invite any worker or employer to call us with questions about their rights or responsibilities.”

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.

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

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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Wage and Hour Division
September 21, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
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