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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 10-1650-SAN (SF-350)

Date: 

December 8, 2010

Contact: 

Jose A. Carnevali - Deanne Amaden

Phone: 

(415) 625-2631 - (415) 625-2630

US Department of Labor fines Las Vegas supermarket and food distributor more than $63,000 for willful violations of overtime pay laws


Employer owes workers $169,100 after follow-up investigation finds pay problems

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor has fined a local company that operates as a supermarket and food distributor $63,470 for willfully violating the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division. The division also conducted a follow-up investigation and determined that the company owed 119 employees $169,100 in back wages for unpaid overtime.

“We found identical violations during an investigation in 1998,” said George Friday Jr., administrator of the Wage and Hour Division’s Western Region. “We will not hesitate to penalize an employer for intentionally and repeatedly failing to pay workers as the law requires.”

Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division found that Kwong Yet Lung Co. Inc. paid employees straight time for overtime hours worked. Investigators also determined that the employer failed to combine the total hours employees worked at the business’s multiple operations when determining whether employees should have received time and one-half their regular rates of pay when their total hours worked at the locations exceeded 40 in a week. In addition, some workers were paid on a salaried basis who should have qualified for overtime pay. The Las Vegas-based company owns and operates the International Market Place supermarket, Oasis Food Distributing and Quality Food Distributing.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, covered employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for workers employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. To qualify, employees generally must meet certain tests described in the act regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis no less than $455 per week.

For more information about the FLSA, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Las Vegas District Office at 702-388-6001. Information is also available on the Internet at 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.