- Premier limousine will pay $500,000 in back wages and damages to 183 underpaid drives, after a judge from the US District court of Connecticut resolved a lawsuit against the company. The DOL filed suit against Premier Limousine after a Wage and Hour investigation found violations of FLSA’s overtime requirement provision. Premier limousine did not pay their drivers time and half for hours worked over 40 hours, instead drivers were paid normal wages. Additionally, Premier Limousine failed to properly document hours worked by employees. In additional to back wages, the judgment enjoins and restrains S.D. Transportation from future violations of the overtime and record-keeping requirements of the FLSA. “We found many employees working long hours without any overtime compensation. Unfortunately, these types of labor violations are all too common in the limousine industry. That is why our investigators continue to make unannounced visits to limousine services throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island to identify and remedy such violations and to help ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Michelle Garvey, district director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Hartford office.
- Malino Construction to pay more than $415,000 in back wages for workers in Detroit Palmer Park square affordable housing project. Department of Labor investigations found that Malino Construction and several project subcontractors violated provisions of FLSA, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, and the Contract Work house and Safety Standards act. The construction companies failed to pay wages, fringe benefits, and overtime. Additionally, the companies failed to keep accurate records. Due to the willful extent of the violations by the Malino Construction, the lead contractor on the project, Malino has been debarred from bidding on federal contracts for us to three years. “These are tough economic times for the people of Detroit, and the last thing we need is for the workers who are helping to rehabilitate this city to be denied their rightful wages and benefits. With our ongoing initiative, we are working with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Detroit Housing Commission to ensure federal labor law compliance on taxpayer-funded projects,” said Timolin Mitchell, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Detroit District Office.
- Super Maid ordered to pay $184,505 in back wages and damages to 55 misclassified employees following US Department of Labor investigation and lawsuit. Super Maid employees were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees entitled to minimum wage and overtime under FLSA. The DOL investigation found that Super Maids required maids to sign noncompete agreements and did not allow them to clean homes other than those assigned by Super Maid Additionally, Super Maid provided training, vehicles and cleaning equipment’s and set all work hours and assignments—leading the DOL to rule that Super Maid had in fact misclassified these employees. Furthermore, Super Maid was found to have threatened workers with disciplinary actions and loss of pay for exceeding cleaning time limits. “Super Maid and its owner demonstrated a reluctance to cooperate with investigators by failing to produce reliable records and to comply with wage laws,” said Karen Chaikin, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Midwest. “It is unfortunate that there are employers who believe they can exploit vulnerable workers through intimidation and harassment. This judgment sends a clear message that denying employees their rightfully earned wages will not be tolerated.”
As a result of the Department of Labor Wage and Hour division’s investigations, back pay wages will be awarded to dozens of individuals that were harmed by discriminatory wages practices.
1) In a series of consent judgments in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Department of Labor ordered seven Long Island, NY restaurants to pay more than $1.6 million in back wages and damages. Investigations by the Long Island District Office found widespread violations of wage and hour laws, including violation of federal minimum wage, not paying overtime, and paying cash to employees off-the-books. These investigations were conducted by the Wage and Hour enforcement initiative which focuses on strengthening labor compliance. As a result the seven Long Island restaurants are to pay $1,693,507.22 to 363 employees. The restaurants will additionally pay $114,747.96 as penalties and interest to the DOL for willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
2) In an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wages and Hour Division, the DOL found that a Big Lots Stores Inc. in Bradenton, Ohio violated the Family and Medical Leave Act. Big Lots terminated the worker for taking time off to care for a seriously ill child. Under the FMLA, employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave due to their own or a family member’s serious health condition. Big lots will pay the former employee $8,787 in back wages.
3) In Perez v. Citywide Security Services Inc., a security company agreed to pay nearly $15,000 in back wages to security guards whom it had failed to pay properly for working overtime. Cleveland-based Citywide Security Services also will pay $5,000 in penalties for “willful and repeat violations” of federal employment laws, according to the Labor Department. Government regulators claimed that Citywide had discouraged the guards from accepting back wages it already owed them from a previous investigation in 2011 – and cut the pay of some who did. Then Citywide paid the guards regular rates for overtime work, despite a law requiring time-and-a-half after 40 hours per week, the government said. Citywide signed the consent judgment but kvetched in the press. “I was just being nice,” company owner George Lewandowski told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, saying his employees had requested the illegal arrangement. “Look where being nice got me in the long run.”
Tags: Family and Medical Leave Act
August 14th, 2014 · Comments Off
Following a US Department of Labor investigation, LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to pay $3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $2,509,646 in liquidated damaged to 359 employees. LinkedIn was found to have violated FLSA’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. Once notified of the violations, LinkedIn agreed to pay back all wages due, and cooperate with the DOL in the fullest. Dr. David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division said, “This company has shown a great deal of integrity by fully cooperating with investigators and stepping up to the plate without hesitation to help make workers whole… We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps towards securing future compliance.”
In addition to paying employees back wages and liquidated damages, LinkedIn entered into an enhanced compliance agreement with the DOL. This agreement includes: LinkedIn providing compliance training, distributing policy against off-the-clock work to all nonexempt employees and managers, meeting with managers to remind them that overtime must be recorded and paid, and a reminding employees of LinkedIn’s policy prohibiting retaliation against employees who raise concerns.
“Off the clock’ hours are all too common for the American worker. This practice harms workers, denies them the wages they have rightfully earned and takes away time with families,” said Susana Blanco, district director for the division in San Francisco. “We urge all employers, large and small, to review their pay practices to ensure employees know their basic workplace rights and that the commitment to compliance works through all levels of the organization. The department is committed to protecting the rights of workers and leveling the playing field for all law-abiding employers.”
August 8th, 2014 · Comments Off
Dialysis Clinic Inc. and Genesis Healthcare/Mount Olive Care & Rehabilitation are being sued by the EEOC for disability discrimination, while the EEOC settled a disability discrimination case with Walgreens.
- In EEOC v. Dialysis Clinic, Inc., the EEOC filed suit against Dialysis Clinic, Inc., a national healthcare provider, for allegedly refusing to re-hire a nurse who needed extended medical leave to finish her cancer treatment. Francisca Lee was a nurse at the healthcare provider’s Sacramento location for 14 years before being diagnosed with breast cancer. Because Lee’s absence exceeded the leave time that was available to her, she was terminated, even after being on approved medical leave and being cleared by her doctor to return to work in less than two months. Lee was informed that she would have to re-apply for her position, but she was rejected.
- In EEOC v. Genesis Healthcare, LLC, the EEOC filed suit against Genesis Healthcare, doing business as Mount Olive Care & Rehabilitation Center, for disability discrimination. Margaret Washington was hired at Mount Olive Care & Rehabilitation in Mount Olive, North Carolina as a cook and dietary aide. According to the EEOC, Washington has an impairment that limits her use of the left side of her body. The EEOC alleges that Mount Olive Care & Rehabilitation fired Washington because she did not have full use of her left arm, even though she could still perform her basic job functions.
- In EEOC v. Walgreens, the EEOC settled a disability discrimination case with Walgreens for $180,000. Josefina Hernandez was a cashier at a South San Francisco Walgreens with Type II Diabetes and was allegedly fired for eating a bag of chips that cost $1.39 during a hypoglycemic attack to stabilize her blood sugar level. Hernandez had no prior disciplinary record in her 18 years as an employee of Walgreens.
Tags: Disability Discrimination
July 30th, 2014 · Comments Off
- A DOL investigation found Nueces Electrical Co-op in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Nueces Electrical of Corpus Christi is to pay former employee $46,920 in back wages and damages. The investigation revealed that Nueces Electrical wrongfully advised an employee to retire or face termination of employment for needing to leave fir a FMLA-qualifying health issue. The employee, who was entitled to receive FMLA job-protected leave, to cash out a 401(k) savings plan, which incurred significant penalties, was forced to leave his job. As a result, he suffered wage losses, resulting in loan defaults and an inability to pay essential bills. In addition to the monetary damages, Nueces neglected to provide proper FMLA notice to the employee. Under the FMLA, a covered employer must notify eligible employees of their FMLA rights and responsibilities. “The FMLA protects eligible workers from having to choose between work and family care or personal medical leave needs,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division for the Southwest. “When employees are unlawfully denied leave and their livelihoods put at risk, the potential for harm is great.”
- B & D Inc. has agreed to pay $1,660,438 to 1,543 workers after a DOL investigation found that B & D Contracting Inc., a labor recruiting and staffing agency, engaged in improper pay and record-keeping practices that resulted in employees being denied FLSA mandated overtime pay. The Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office found the company mischaracterized certain wages as per diem payments. B & D then impermissibly excluded these wages when calculating overtime payments, denying employees earned overtime compensation.
“Temporary staffing agencies serve valuable and legitimate business needs in today’s economy,” said Dr. David Weil, administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, “But employers may not manipulate these arrangements and use evasive pay practices to avoid paying workers their rightful wages.” Aside from monetary compensation, B & D has also signed a settlement agreement with the DOL, to implement specific measures to prevent future FLSA violations. These measures include: setting standards to accurately identify and compensate workers who qualify for bona fide per diem payments; paying accurate overtime and ensuring per diem payments are not automatically excluded from overtime calculations; informing employees about their pay and employment conditions; and obtaining written acknowledgment from employees that they understand the criteria for receipt of per diem payments.