Federal investigators recover $198K in back wages for 93 employees of Clifton electrical contractor after US Department of Labor finds overtime violations
CLIFTON, NJ – Employers have a responsibility to compensate employees as required by law for travel from one job site to another. This was not the case for 93 workers underpaid by a northern New Jersey electrical contractor for work-related travel time, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Leone Electric Co. LLC failed to include time spent traveling between jobsites in the total weekly hours worked for HVAC technicians, construction managers, tower technicians and warehouse drivers. When time spent traveling between jobsites was included – as the law requires – employees’ workweeks exceeded 40 hours per week, and overtime pay due. By failing to count the travel time as work time and failing to pay overtime for all hours of work over 40 in a workweek, the employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $198,275 in back wages for the 93 workers.
“By not paying the proper overtime, Leone Electric Co. denied employees their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Paula Ruffin in Mountainside. “Employers are legally obligated to pay employees for all hours worked, including travel that occurs during the course of the normal work day. When employers fail to pay the wages that workers are legally entitled to, they not only violate the rights of these individuals, but also harm workers’ families who depend on these earnings. Additionally, they put law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage.”
Leone Electric Co. LLC is a privately owned electric company that services both residential and commercial customers, primarily in northern New Jersey.
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the agency, contact the division’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.