An investigation by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division into National Freight Inc. (NFI), one of the country’s biggest commercial transportation companies, has revealed that they incorrectly classified yard spotters and dispatchers as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements. NFI failed to pay 357 workers their legally required overtime wages through this misclassification – rather than pay them the mandated time and a half for every hour worked over 40 hours per week, they paid their spotters by the hour at a flat rate, and paid their dispatchers flat salaries whether or not they worked overtime.
The administrator of the Wage and Hour Division Dr. David Well, had this to say about the violations:
“Every dollar counts for NFI employees who work long days to earn a living. The case’s resolution should send a strong message to other industry employers who may be denying overtime to workers in these positions: we will use every tool available to ensure that workers receive every penny they have earned, and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules and do right by their workers.”
NFI has reclassified their misclassified employees working as yard spotters and dispatchers, and has agreed to pay $1,072,061 to their 357 workers in order to remedy the violations. Along with the payment and reclassification, NFI has agreed to implement the following steps:
- Provide training for all managerial employees
- Hire an internal compliance officer
- Implement and institute procedures to document complaints
- Start up and publicize a hotline for complaints
- Conduct confidential interviews with all complainants
- Maintain a written log of all complaints made to the compliance officer
The Houston overtime attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC have worked tirelessly over their careers to protect employees from employer exploitation. No matter how your employer violated employment and labor laws, you are entitled to fair compensation for your hard work. Contact our overtime lawyers by calling us at (888) 367-7160, or by filling out our online form to send us your case information.