News Release

Idaho painting contractor pays $81K in back wages, liquidated damages to 35 workers shortchanged by illegal pay practices

Michua’s Painting of Caldwell willfully paid straight time for overtime hours worked

CALDWELL, ID – A U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation found a painting contractor in Idaho failed to pay workers overtime wages, and failed to keep accurate records of employees’ earnings, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Division investigators found Michua’s Painting LLC of Caldwell failed to pay workers the required overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The investigation also revealed the employer failed to include bonuses when calculating the rate of overtime pay as required by federal law.

The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $40,791 in back wages plus another $40,791 in liquidated damages for 35 workers. The division assessed $13,363 in penalties against Michua’s Painting because of the willful nature of the violations found.

“We work hard to resolve cases of wage theft and ensure working people receive all the wages they have earned. When workers do not receive a fair wage, they are also denied the dignity and respect they are due,” said Wage and Hour District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “The Fair Labor Standards Act provides essential worker protections and addresses required minimum and overtime wages and hours worked. We encourage all employers to review their pay practices and to contact us for information about how to avoid violations.”

The department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $36 million in back wages for thousands of workers in the construction industry in fiscal year 2021. There is currently more than $527,000 in back wages left unclaimed in Idaho. In some cases, employers failed to keep accurate records of employee addresses, and in others, former workers relocated and left no contact information. The division has a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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 the division enforces, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division.

Wage and Hour Division
January 18, 2022
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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