News Release

Pensacola auto dealer pays $36K in back wages to resolve minimum wage, overtime violations found in US Department of Labor investigation

Step One Automotive’s piece-rate pay system led to violations

PENSACOLA, FL – Employees at a Pensacola car dealership received more money in their paychecks after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found the auto dealer failed to pay minimum wage and overtime as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Division investigators found Step One Automotive Group BC PN LLC – operating as Step One Automotive – violated the FLSA when it failed to ensure that auto detailers who were paid a flat-rate per vehicle received at least the required federal minimum wage for each hour of work. The employer also failed to pay detailers required overtime when they worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

Investigators also found that Step One paid other employees flat salaries regardless of the number of hours they worked. By doing so, the employer failed to pay overtime when employees worked over 40 hours per week. Additionally, Step One failed to include bonuses earned in the calculation of overtime rates. As a result, they paid workers less than the overtime rate required by law. The division determined that the employer failed to maintain accurate payroll records for the auto detailers and other employees paid on a salary basis, in violation of FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

Step One Automotive has paid $36,320 in back wages to 16 workers.

Automotive workers continued to provide essential services during the pandemic. These workers deserve the protections the Fair Labor Standards Act affords them and must receive all the pay they have legally earned each workweek,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “We urge employers to contact us with questions so that together, we can make certain that employees are fairly compensated for their work and that all employers compete on a level playing field.” 

Step One Automotive LLC and Step One Investments LLC – both based in Fort Walton Beach – own and operate nine establishments in Florida in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville; and four in Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
August 23, 2021
Release Number
21-1443-ATL
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Contact: Erika Ruthman
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