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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: ESA-WH-09-155-DAL


April 9, 2009


Elizabeth Todd



U.S. Department of Labor recovers more than $117,000 in back overtime wages for 103 automobile sales employees in 8 states

Violations disclosed in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $117,023 in overtime back wages for 103 current and former management trainees of Bentonville-based America’s Car Mart Inc. following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division’s Little Rock District Office.

The investigation found that America’s Car Mart had violated the Fair Standards Labor Act (FLSA) by failing to pay its employees the overtime compensation they were legally entitled to receive. Employees worked in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas.

“This company failed to follow federal wage and hour regulations,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “In this case, non-exempt trainees were not compensated at time and one-half their regular rate of pay for overtime hours while in training.”

America’s Car Mart cooperated with the investigation and has agreed to future FLSA compliance. Back wages are currently being paid.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $6.55 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked more than 40 per week, unless otherwise exempt. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records. Effective July 24, 2009, the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour.

The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain job duty and salary tests. Information about the current exemption can be found on the Internet at

For more information about the FLSA, call the department’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243); visit the Internet at; or contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Little Rock District Office at 501-223-9114.


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