Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: October 20, 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: 14-1772-SAN (SF-69)
Southern California care facility agrees to pay more than $344,000 in back wages, damages to 32 workers following US Labor Department investigation
LOS ANGELES -- C & H Collins-Hartwell Programs Inc., which operates throughout southern California, is in the process of paying $344,000 in overtime back wages and damages to 32 workers. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay time and one-half for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.
Investigators from the division’s West Covina District Office found that the firm paid straight time after 40 hours, instead of time and one-half, as required by the FLSA. The firm also failed to combine hours for employees working in multiple locations, and when these hours exceeded 40 in a workweek, overtime was due and not paid.
“This investigation should put other employers on notice. It is crucial for employers to ensure that they fully understand and follow those laws that apply to their businesses,” said Danny Pasquil, district director for the Wage and Hour Division. “Failure to follow federal labor laws is not only detrimental to employees and competitors, but can be costly for the employer. Violating labor laws should not be considered the cost of doing business, and the department will use all available enforcement tools to make sure this is not the case.”
Collins-Hartwell, headquartered in Paramount, operates day and residential programs for a diversified population of children, adults and seniors with disabilities. The firm has facilities in Los Angeles, Compton, Downey and Inglewood.
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.