Hampstead contractor pays $87K in back wages, $19K penalty after failed attempt to obscure records to withhold overtime wages owed to 28 employees
MANCHESTER, NH – A Hampstead contractor falsified pay records to mask its failure to pay workers the required overtime wages they earned, but the outcome of a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has set the record straight.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $87,360 in back wages owed to 28 employees of Facades Inc., a commercial exterior surfaces applicator-installer. In addition, the division assessed a civil money penalty of $19,516 to address the willful nature of the violations, which included the employer’s falsification of payroll records.
Investigators found Facades Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it paid straight time for overtime hours worked by employees and concealed those payments as “reimbursements” in payroll registers. Rather than recording and paying for overtime hours at time-and-one-half workers’ regular rates of pay, the employer recorded only up to 40 hours in their records and masked their straight time payment for any additional hours.
“Workers deserve to get paid all the wages they have earned, and our enforcement of the law ensures that happens,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin in Manchester, New Hampshire. “In this case, the employer attempted to conceal illegal straight-time-for-overtime payments. In addition to being held accountable for back pay, the employer paid a significant civil money penalty. Other employers should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to review their own pay practices to avoid violations like those found in this case.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.