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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 09-121-CHI


March 2, 2009


Scott Allen or Brad Mitchell



Willow Lake Mine in Galatia, Ill., agrees to pay more than $510,000 in back wages to workers to settle U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit

GALATIA, Ill. -- In a consent judgment filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois, Big Ridge Inc., doing business as Willow Lake Mine in Galatia, has agreed to pay more than $510,000 in overtime compensation to more than 500 present and past mine workers after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation and lawsuit.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division conducted the investigation. In addition to the overtime pay corrections, Willow Lake Mine has agreed to the entry of an injunction for future compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The FLSA requires that employees be paid the federal minimum wage, currently $6.55 per hour, for all hours worked, and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a week, unless an employee is exempt. Under the law, employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

“The department is committed to ensuring that all workers receive all wages that they have earned,” said Enrique Rodriguez, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in St. Louis, Mo.

Willow Lake Mine operates an underground coal mining operation and production plant in Saline County, Ill., employs approximately 450 people and operates year-round. For more information, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at Information about the current exemption for white collar executive, administrative and professional employees can be found at


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit