News Release

Federal court orders Beaver County gas station, convenience store to pay nearly $300K in back wages, damages, penalties for wage, overtime violations

US Department of Labor found Monaca Sunoco shortchanged workers intentionally

MONACA, PA – A federal court has ordered a Beaver County gas station and convenience store to cease violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and pay back wages and liquidated damages to two underpaid employees. The judgment follows a U.S. Department of Labor investigation that determined the owners of Monaca Sunoco, located at 1479 Old Brodhead Road, intentionally underpaid a married couple who lived and worked there.

On November 5, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a consent judgment requiring the employers – Om Shiva Enterprise Inc., Durlabhju Ukani and Bhartiben Ukani – to pay $281,029 in back wages and liquidated damages, and prohibiting them from future FLSA violations. In addition to back wages and damages, the court ordered the employers to pay a $1,762 civil money penalty, which the department assessed due to the willfulness of the employer’s violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the owners of Monaca Sunoco failed to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and did not pay the overtime rates when the employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Investigators determined the wife worked 70 hours a week, typically without any pay at all, while her husband worked additional unpaid hours after his scheduled shift ended.

“These employers violated the law intentionally and exploited this vulnerable couple,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director John DuMont in Pittsburgh. “The Wage and Hour Division will be tireless in its efforts to stem exploitation and hold employers accountable when they shortchange workers by denying them legally earned wages.”

The division also found the employers had no records of the wife’s hours of work from November 2018 to April 2021, and the limited records they did provide showed start and end times without daily or weekly totals, an FLSA recordkeeping violation.

“Monaca Sunoco stole wages from these workers, harming them and their family and cheating employers who play by the rules,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III in Philadelphia. “This judgment sends a clear message to employers that failure to pay employees their rightfully earned wages comes at a high cost.”

View the complaint and consent judgment

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.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
November 8, 2021
Release Number
21-1945-PHI
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Contact: Leni Fortson
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