US Department of Labor obtains judgment to recover $47K in back wages, damages after Louisiana security company denied overtime to 58 workers
SHREVEPORT, LA – While security workers sometimes face daunting challenges on the job in return for a median national wage of just $15.13 per hour, 58 industry workers are closer to getting wages owed to them by their Shreveport employer thanks to an action brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In May 2023, the department obtained a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, ordering Sentinel Security Group Inc. to pay $23,841 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to the affected employees.
The court’s action follows a 2021 lawsuit the department filed after the company refused to comply with the findings of the department’s Wage and Hour Division. Investigators determined Sentinel Security Group denied overtime to the affected employees by not combining hours employees worked at more than one location, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provision.
“Sentinel Security Group deprived 58 workers of their overtime pay by ignoring their responsibilities under federal law,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas. “The recovery of back wages and damages will help these employees support themselves and their families.”
The department also filed a separate action in administrative court and obtained consent findings that require the company to pay $7,317 in civil money penalties for Sentinel’s repeat violations.
“Compliance with the law is not optional. Employers cannot repeatedly disregard the law, and the U.S. Department of Labor will take legal action when employers like Sentinel Security Group refuse to pay employees their rightful wages,” explained Regional Solicitor of Labor John Rainwater in Dallas. “This case’s resolution shows employers that there can be costly consequences for defying the laws.”
In fiscal year 2022, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $3.9 million for more than 4,600 people employed in guard services after over 600 investigations nationwide.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages, regardless of where they are from.
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. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Android and iOS devices – free and available in English and Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.