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WHD News Release: [11/20/2012]
Contact Name: Michael D’Aquino
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076
Release Number: 12-2193-ATL
RJ Concrete in Fuquay-Varina, NC, to pay 12 employees nearly $38,000 in back wages following US Labor Department investigatio
Fuquay-Varina, N.C. RJ Concrete Inc. of Fuquay-Varina has agreed to pay 12 current and former employees $37,783 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division that identified violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime and record-keeping provisions. RJ Concrete is a contractor engaged in the construction of residential basements.
An investigation conducted by the division's Raleigh District Office found that the employer paid the employees a "day rate," compensating them at a fixed amount per day without accounting for the overtime premium due for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. Additionally, the employer failed to keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid. For example, rather than recording the number of hours worked by each employee, records reflect only a check mark for each day an employee worked.
"Employers are legally obligated to maintain accurate records and to pay employees for all hours worked, including proper overtime compensation when hours exceed 40 in a week," said Richard Blaylock, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Raleigh office. "The back wages paid in this case should serve as notice to all employers that they must be in compliance with the law."
In addition to paying the back wages, the employer has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, "hours worked" includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer's premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.
The department has a smart phone application to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users can track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers' records, workers now can keep their own records. This and other Labor Department apps are available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps/.
The division's Raleigh office can be reached at 919-790-2742. Information on the FLSA and other wage laws is available by calling the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or by visiting http://www.dol.gov/whd/.