Judge orders Indianapolis dental practice, human resources manager to pay $22K in back wages, damages to employee after retaliation, termination
Employers: Urgent Dental Center Avon LLC
Courts: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Investigation findings: On Aug. 22, 2023, Judge Richard L. Young ordered Urgent Dental Center Avon LLC and a human resources manager to pay a terminated employee $12,160 in back wages and liquidated damages and an additional $10,000 in punitive damages.
The judgment resolves a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor on April 25, 2023, after an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division found the Indianapolis company violated the FLSA when they retaliated against an employee who filed a complaint alleging wage violations.
Investigators found that after filing the complaint with the Wage and Hour Division, the employee received an increase in disciplinary write ups, management made negative comments about the employee to other employees, and wrongfully terminated the employee shortly after they filed a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division.
Quote: “Workers have the right to file complaints without fear of retaliation. The judge found that Urgent Dental Center Avon LLC and a manager there violated an employee’s right to question the employer’s pay practices, and then retaliated against them illegally,” said Wage and Hour District Director Aaron Loomis in Indianapolis. “Every U.S. worker has right to be paid fully for the hours they work and to engage in protected activities.”
Background: 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 and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.
Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish –to ensure hours and pay are accurate.
United States Department of Labor v. Urgent Dental Center Avon LLC
Case number 1:23-cv-704