WHD News Release: [08/09/2011]
Contact Name: John M. Chavez
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075
Release Number: 11-1153-NEW
US Labor Department sues Puerto Rico security guard company and officials to recover overtime back wages and damages for 151 employees
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico The U.S. Department of Labor has sued MJR Security Police Inc., a security guard company located in San Juan, and company officers Rosa Rosario Adorno and Ismael Rivera Rosario for alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The department's lawsuit was filed following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division, which found that defendants had violated the FLSA by denying overtime compensation to 151 employees and failing to maintain accurate payroll records.
"It is regrettable that the hardworking employees of MJR Security Police have not been properly compensated for the many hours they worked," said Jose R. Vazquez, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Guaynabo District Office, which oversaw the investigation. "We have taken this legal action to bring this company and its officers into compliance with federal wage and hour laws, and to recover the back wages rightfully due to these workers."
Investigators found that employees often were required to work in excess of 40 hours a week without being paid proper overtime compensation. The defendants also willfully and repeatedly failed to accurately record the hours worked and wages paid to the workers, in violation of the FLSA's record-keeping provisions. After conducting several employee interviews and reviewing payroll records, investigators determined that the employees are owed substantial amounts of back wages for overtime wage violations.
The department's lawsuit asks the court to award the employees both the back wages they are due and an equal amount in liquidated damages. If damages are not awarded, the suit asks the court to order the payment of prejudgment interest instead. The suit also asks the court for an injunction to permanently prohibit the defendants from future violations of the FLSA.
The Wage and Hour Division referred the case to the Labor Department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York City, which filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as well as time and one-half their regular hourly rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.
For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division's Guaynabo office at 787-775-1947 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
Solis v. MJR Security Police Inc., et al
Civil Action Number: 11-CV-1619 (JAG)
- Read this news release en Espaņol.