Court orders Lyndhurst staffing agency to pay $65K in damages to employee after US Labor Department investigates illegal termination, retaliation
LYNDHURST, NJ – The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has ordered a northern New Jersey staffing agency to pay $65,000 in damages to an employee fired after they raised concerns about not getting paid for all of their hours worked.
The court’s action follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that alleged Advantix Logistics Corp. fired the employee in February 2022 because he complained to his supervisor that he was not paid for all hours worked.
The division also found that Advantix continued to threaten the worker when they asked why their final paycheck did not include all wages earned and tried to stop workers from cooperating with the investigation of the company’s pay practices. These actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s anti-retaliation and investigatory provisions.
Today’s consent judgment requires Advantix Logistics Corp. to pay the employee damages and forbids them from taking any future retaliatory actions in violation of the FLSA. The judgment comes after a lawsuit filed by the department’s Office of the Solicitor, and a temporary restraining order in April of 2022.
“Federal law protects workers’ rights to come forward and make a complaint when employers deny them their hard-earned wages and prevents employers from retaliating or intimidating those who raise concerns,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Paula Ruffin in Mountainside, New Jersey. “The Wage and Hour Division will vigorously investigate complaints of improper pay practices or illegal retaliation by employers and enforce the law.”
The court also ordered Advantix Logistics Corp. not to retaliate against, or intimidate in any way, current and former employees who complain about pay, speak with investigators, or otherwise assert their FLSA rights. The consent judgment also prohibits the employer from taking any actions to obstruct departmental investigations.
“The outcome of this case makes clear the U.S. Department of Labor does not tolerate illegal retaliation that interferes with workers’ rights and protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York. “The Department of Labor will act aggressively to stop employers from retaliating against their employees and make it clear that retaliating against workers can have very costly consequences and will seek punitive damages when appropriate.”
The Wage and Hour Division’s Northern New Jersey District Office conducted the investigation. Senior Trial attorneys Jason Glick and Susan Jacobs of the Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York litigated the case.
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, including 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 or concerns – regardless of where they are from – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free.
Secretary of Labor v. Advantix Logistics Corp.
Civil Action No. 22-cv-2257