US Department of Labor finds Meridian tree services company shortchanged workers of overtime wages, allowed minors to operate hazardous machinery
Employer: Done-Rite Tree Company Inc.
Investigation sites: 8184 Stewart Road, Meridian, ID 83642
Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found Done-Rite Tree Co. denied overtime wages to 39 workers by not paying time and one-half for hours over 40 in a workweek, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company also allowed two 17-year-old workers to regularly load and operate a power-driven woodchipper, a hazardous occupation for minors under the FLSA and an activity that has claimed the lives of several young workers in recent years, including a 17-year-old in Pennsylvania, who recently suffered a tragic death while operating a woodchipper.
Back Wages/Damages Recovered: $39,711 in back wages for 39 employees
$39,711 in liquidated damages for 39 employees
Civil Money Penalties Assessed: $10,747 in penalties
Quote: “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensure employees receive all of the wages they have earned, including overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “It is also critical to ensure the safety and well-being of young workers. The operation of the woodchipper by minors could have ended in tragedies had we not intervened. We urge employers to visit our Youthrules.gov website to learn how to protect young workers and promote positive and safe work experiences for teens.”
Background: Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.