US Labor Department recovers $247K in back wages, damages for 15 workers of oil pipeline construction company that illegally denied them overtime
CENTER, TX – A federal investigation recovered $247,334 in back wages and liquidated damages for 15 workers of a Texas oil pipeline construction company whose pay practices denied them their full wages, including overtime. The workers were employed at the company’s Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas job sites.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found J&J Raymond Construction LLC paid employees a set day rate and did not pay overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek. Investigators also determined the employer failed to include non-discretionary bonuses when computing the regular rate of pay and did not maintain accurate records as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires.
The division’s findings led to the recovery of $123,667 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to the affected workers.
“Paying an employee a day rate does not mean the employer is no longer legally obligated to pay overtime wages,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Robin Mallett in Houston. “Regardless of whether workers are paid by the hour, the piece, the day or on a salary basis, overtime rules still apply. Violations like those found in this case are avoidable. Employers and workers are encouraged to contact the Wage and Hour Division to understand legal rights and responsibilities.”
In fiscal year 2021, the division identified more than $36 million in back wages owed to about 21,000 construction industry workers. In its investigations, the division commonly finds violations related to employers failing to pay overtime when required, misclassifying workers as independent contractors, and not paying them for time spent on work-related travel, or pre- and post-shift work.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting construction industry employment to grow at a rate of 6 percent by 2030, with a gain of approximately 400,000 jobs, employers who ensure their workers are paid their rightful wages and benefits will be better positioned to retain and recruit skilled workers.
Based in Center, J&J Raymond Construction LLC specializes in oil pipeline construction and has job sites in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
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. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).