The United States Department of Labor has recently been involved in numerous investigations and cases involving back wages, overtime, and more. The agency has also provided resolutions to help those who have been affected by these violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division launched an investigation into Arizona-based staffing agency Allstars Staffing LLC after allegations of misclassifying hundreds of workers as independent contractors instead of employees. This was done to avoid paying overtime to the employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week, instead of paying overtime only to employees who worked at the same hotel for an entire week of work and when the hotel agreed to pay the overtime wages.
As a result, Allstars Staffing will have to pay back wages to 275 employees for a total of $75,683. The company is also required to pay civil penalties totaling $22,094 as a result of the willful nature of the violations.
The owner of a Stanford Yellow Taxi Cab, Inc. and AAA Legacy Limousine, Inc., Sayed Abbas, was ordered by a federal judge to pay back wages and damages totaling $175,000 to dozens of employees who drove for the company. They were reportedly misclassified as independent contractors in order to avoid overtime pay, and they were not paid minimum wage as required by federal law.
Some drivers were required to work 12-hour shifts six days per week, yet they were only paid a percentage of their fares. The company reportedly took no additional measures to make sure that the employees received minimum wage.
A DOL Wage and Hour Division investigation determined that Federico’s Mexican Food Restaurant was not paying workers the necessary overtime earned by the employees. According to the investigation, the Arizona-based restaurant had some employees working an average of 48 hours each week while paying them just $8 an hour with no overtime included. They also failed to keep an accurate record regarding the hours worked and wages paid, violating the standards set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The restaurant was ordered to pay $101,175 in overtime back wages. An equal amount will additionally be paid to 48 employees for damages. The restaurant must also implement ways to improve their system to keep an accurate account of hours work, distribute employee handbooks, and give employees pay stubs with a clear showing of hours worked and wages paid each period.
New Mexico-based Molina Healthcare of New Mexico Inc. has been ordered to pay $701,855 in back wages to more than 400 employees after the DOL Wage and Hour Division investigation found violations of the FLSA’s overtime provisions. According to the report, the employer falsely and incorrectly applied an exemption to case managers.
Hibachi City Buffet, Inc. of Palm Desert, California has been ordered to pay back wages totaling $90,000 to 44 employees. The DOL Wage and Hour Division investigated the buffet restaurant and found minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping violations in regards to provisions set forth by the FLSA. Employees reportedly worked more than 60 hours each week on an average. Despite this, employees were paid a fixed rate salary.
The restaurant and its owner must also pay penalties totaling $38,335, and the employer is prohibited from taking any action against any worker who reported the violations in a manner that would be considered retaliating.
At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, we have extensive experience representing clients in areas involving the Fair Labor Standards Act and employment law. Our wage and hour dispute attorneys understand your rights in the matter and we want to help you recover what you are owed. If you have been working overtime and you are not receiving the wages associated with the number of hours you worked, or if you are not receiving minimum wage, you may have a case.
We encourage you to contact our firm today to better understand what kind of rights you have and what legal options you may be able to take moving forward. We are ready to help you take action against an employer who doesn’t pay the money employees are owed. We offer free consultations so you can ask questions and address your concerns, and have peace of mind knowing that your rights are being protected.