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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 10-1085-ATL (475)

Date: 

Aug. 11, 2010

Contact: 

Michael D’Aquino - Michael Wald

Phone: 

(404) 562 2076 - (404) 562 2078

US Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division recovers more than $144,000 in back wages for national telecommunications company workers


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered $144,593 in back wages for 1,434 inside sales workers of CenturyLink, a nationwide communications company with locations in 33 states.

A Wage and Hour Division investigation determined that, over a 10-month period, commissions for inside salespeople were not included when calculating the premium pay they earned when they worked more than a 40-hour week. The original investigation focused on employees at United Telephone of Florida, a subsidiary of CenturyLink, but was expanded to include CenturyLink workers nationwide.

“Failing to include commission earnings when computing overtime pay for covered employees deprives workers of all the wages they are entitled to under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Michael Young, the Wage and Hour Division’s district director in Jacksonville. “The department will continue to enforce the law to ensure workers receive the wages they have worked hard for and deserve.”

Workers receiving back pay are located in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week at rates not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. Premium pay must be computed using both salary and commissions. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for anyone employed in the capacity of outside salesman. Inside salespeople do not have the same exemption.

For more information about this investigation, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Jacksonville District Office at 904-359-9292. For more information about the FLSA, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.