Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: October 16, 2014
Contact: Leo F. Kay or Jose A. Carnevali
Phone: 415-625-2630 or 415-625-2631
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 14-1689-SAN (SF-68)
Tulare, California, cabinet company to pay nearly $250,000 in back wages, damages and penalties following US Labor Department investigation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Avila’s Tile and Cabinets of North J Street in Tulare is paying $244,905 in back wages and liquidated damages to 31 of its employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The investigation found that the employer failed to pay time-and-a-half for overtime hours, paid for such hours as straight time in cash and with no payment records, and failed to keep a record of overtime hours worked.
“Avila employees worked long hours during the firm’s busy season, and did not receive time-and-a-half when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. This investigation puts money back into the hands of these workers denied their rightfully earned wages,” said Nora Pedraza, Wage and Hour Division assistant district director in Fresno. “This practice not only hurts workers and their families, but it gives violating companies an unfair competitive advantage over others in the industry who play by the rules.”
The owners of Avila’s signed an enhanced settlement agreement with the Wage and Hour Division, agreeing to install time clocks in each location. They also agreed that they will prepare a statement of hours worked for each employee for each day, week and pay period, and give the employees an opportunity to make any corrections. Each work hours summary will contain a statement in English and Spanish advising employees of their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act and will include contact information for the department. Avila’s will also pay penalties to the federal government.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as one and one-half times their regular 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.
The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are generally liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, which are paid directly to the affected employees.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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.