Archive for the ‘Fair Labor Standards Act’ Category

The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $71,809 in minimum wage and overtime back wages for 48 workers jointly employed by GHM Wentworth LLC, doing business as Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle, and contractor Eco-Clean New England Inc., doing business as The Cleaning Crew in Londonderry. Wentworth contracted its housekeeping and kitchen work through Eco-Clean; consequently, the companies were jointly responsible for ensuring compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that employees, many of whom traveled more than 120 miles daily between the Boston area and New Castle, were not properly compensated. Employees were paid “straight time” wages rather than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 during a single week, as required by the FLSA’s overtime provisions. Additionally, minimum wage violations resulted when the employers failed to provide wages owed from several payrolls and when some resort employees were not compensated for all hours of their work.

GHM Wentworth Inc. has agreed to pay all back wages due the affected employees and to maintain future compliance with the FLSA. The company also has committed to ensuring full compliance by all contractors with which it has a joint employment relationship. Specifically, the company will require Eco-Clean to submit weekly payroll documents to ensure that the jointly employed workers are being paid proper wages for all hours worked.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as well as time and one-half their regular hourly 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, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

If you believe you are owed for unpaid overtime or wages you should contact the U.S. Department of Labor or a law firm that handles wage and hour litigation. Feel free to contact Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you are entitled to be paid time and a half for each hour worked over 40 in a given week. When computing these hours, the employer should normally include off the clock training.

Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Tulsa-based United States Beef Corp., doing business as Arby’s, has agreed to pay $56,838 in back wages to 759 current and former hourly paid managers in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Investigators found that at 255 Arby’s locations in the five states, bonuses paid to managers were not included in regular rates of pay when overtime was computed. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that covered employees be paid time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.

Additionally, managers in training at an Arby’s in Wichita, Kan., were required to review training material outside of their work hours and not properly compensated for this time. Under the FLSA, employees must receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked.

“We are pleased that this company has agreed to change its practices to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the department’s Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The Wage and Hour Division actively pursues systemic violations by multi-state employers wherever employees are affected by bad practices.”

If you believe you have not been paid properly by your employer speak to the U.S. Department of Labor or an attorney that specializes in wage and hour law. Feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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The news continues to show that the workers that seem to most frequently get their wages stolen from them are restaurant workers. Frequently not getting paid minimum wage or overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine restaurant in must pay $162,201 in back wages to 35 employees for violating federal minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping laws, officials said Monday.

Ayara Thai owner Ayut Asapahu paid his workers in cash at a flat rate for their hours worked. The rate was below minimum wage and without regard to overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement.

Investigators determined that the restaurant owner failed to keep records of employees’ hours and pay, but learned through an investigation that Asapahu paid his kitchen employees $80 to $110 for an 11- to 12-hour workday.

Other employees worked six- to 12-hour workdays, most receiving a daily rate of $45 to $50, authorities said.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked. They also must be paid time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 hours a week or eight hours a day.

Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

“Many restaurant workers in the Los Angeles area are subject to unacceptable wage practices and irregularities, and we are determined to make sure that they and other vulnerable employees are paid proper wages,” Kimchi Bui, director of the Los Angeles district office of the Labor Department’s

If you believe you are not getting paid properly by your employer, feel free to contact Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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The Indian-American owner of two Indian restaurants in the Los Angeles area has been found violating the minimum wage act, following which the US Department of Labor has recovered USD 92,870 in back wages for 22 employees.

The two establishments owned and operated by Chandrakant Patel are Jay Bharat Foods Inc, doing business as Jay Bharat, and Standard Foods LLC, doing business as Standard Sweets and Snacks.

“It is against the law to not pay workers at least the minimum wage,” said Priscilla Garcia, the director of the Wage and Hour Division’s West Covina District Office.

The press release was issued in Hindi and English. Investigators found that employees of both restaurants were required to work an average of 55 hours a week and paid “straight time” wages, rather than time and one-half their regular rate of pay, for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, as required by the FLSA.

Additionally, accurate records of employees’ work hours and wages were not kept, in violation of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) record-keeping provisions.

After conducting employee interviews and reviewing payroll records, investigators determined that Jay Bharat owed a total of USD 41,428 in minimum wage and overtime back wages to 12 employees and Standard Sweets and Snacks Restaurant owed USD 53,442 in minimum wage and overtime back wages to 10 employees.

Patel agreed to pay all back wages due to the affected employees and committed to maintaining future compliance with federal minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements, the Department of Labor said.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of USD 7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week.

If you believe you are not being paid the overtime or regular pay you are owed, call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation about your rights under the FLSA.

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The way that some McDonalds employees in West Virginia were being treated makes me want to grimace (and I’m not referring to the big purple guy).

Three former employees are suing McDonald’s after they claim it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act for failing to pay minimum wage to employees.

Richard Estes, Gary M. Martin Sr. and Jeremy Thompson were employed at McDonald’s, according to a complaint filed Feb. 24 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Estes was employed from Aug. 1, 2006, until Nov. 1, 2008; Martin was employed from Dec. 1, 2008, until March 18, 2010; and Thompson was employed from June 1, 2009, until Dec. 14, 2009, according to the suit.

The former employees claim McDonald’s knew or should have known that its employees were illegally not paid minimum wage. They also claim they frequently worked more than 40 hours per week, but were never paid wages for hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

The defendant made several wage and hour violations, including telling the manager that employees were not to be paid for more than a set number of hours each week; for taking employees “off the clock,” when that set number of hours were met; requiring employees to work off the clock for up to or more than 40 hours per week; and requiring employees to work off the clock and not paying overtime, according to the suit.

If your employer is making your work off the clock, not paying you the minimum wage and not paying your for hours of over 40 hours per week, you may be owed additional wages and overtime. Feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Under Florida law, the general rule is that an employee who quits their job is not entitled to receive unemployment benefits. However, there is an exception to this general rule where the employee left with good cause attributable to the employer.

Dennis Martinez was a full time car salesman for Ford Midway Mall. Martinez was originally hired on a commission basis, but some time into his employment, his position was changed to where he received a draw against his commissions. When business declined and he was earning no commissions, based upon the employer draw, he would owe the employer money each week. As of the date of his resignation, Martinez owed over $2,000 to his employer due to these draws. Martinez expressed his dissatisfaction with this arrangement to his employer and resigned.

The unemployment referee determined that Martinez voluntarily quit without good cause of the employer. He further decided that because Martinez agreed originally to this draw policy, that he could not contest it a year later.

The Third District Court of Appeal reversed the determination of unemployment. The Court held that the unemployment laws “provides that an individual is not disqualified for unemployment benefits where the individual has “voluntarily left work with good cause attributable” to the employer. § 443.101(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2009). “Good cause” includes cause attributable to the employer, which “as contemplated by the unemployment compensation law, describes that which would drive an average, able-bodied worker to quit his or her job.”

The Court held that the auto dealer was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Florida Minimum Wage Act because Martinez was not getting paid the minimum hourly wage for the hours he was working for his employer. The Court held that the draw agreement used by the employer was in violation of the FLSA and Florida Minimum Wage Act. Moreover, the Court held that merely allowing them to pay under the draw policy, for a period of time did not result in a waiver of his legal rights under the FLSA.

The Court held that due to the employer’s violations of the FLSA and Florida Minimum Wage Act, Martinez had left his employment due to good cause attributable to the employer. The Court reversed the decision of unemployment and awarded Martinez his benefits.

The Opinion of the Third District Court of Appeal is here.

If you have questions about your right to receive unemployment benefits, feel free to call Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm to discuss your legal rights.

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A federal appeals court last July ruled Novartis reps are not exempt from overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, should be paid overtime. The same court also upheld a similar decision reached two years ago against Schering-Plough by a federal court, which denied a motion to dismiss a case brought against the drugmaker by some of its sales reps.

The decision against Novartis and Schering-Plough was made by the Second Circuit, which presides over territory where other lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories and Bristol-Myers Squibb. As a result, the Supreme Court decision suggests that sales reps are likely to win their cases in these jurisdictions. However, this will not effect, for now, a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit, which ruled in favor of Glaxo that sales reps do not qualify for overtime pay.

The Second Circuit found that sales reps are not exempt from overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA’s overtime compensation requirement doesn’t apply to employees who work as outside salespeople, but the law does require employers to pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 hours a week, unless a FLSA exemption applies.

Drugmakers argue their sales reps are, indeed, outside salespeople who close sales because the primary customer is the physician. But in 2009, the US Department of Labor added an unexpected twist to the debate by filing an amicus brief with a federal appeals court contending that a lower court was wrong to toss their lawsuit.

So if you have worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative, you may be entitled to be paid overtime, but don’t delay, since typically you can only seek overtime up to three years from the date you file your lawsuit. For analysis of any of your overtime claims, feel free to contact Scott Behren and the Behren Law Firm which has extensive experience in litigation of overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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Employees walk by them almost everyday and seemingly pay no attention, but they should. They spell out their rights and obligations under national and state employment laws. What are they?

State and federal laws impose numerous requirements and prohibitions on American businesses, but one of the most overlooked obligations for employers is the responsibility to conspicuously post various government labor law notices in the workplace. The purpose of these labor law posters is to inform employees of their rights under applicable laws and provide information on how to report discrimination, wage and hour violations and other rights infringements to the government.

While many employers do not readily embrace the idea of conspicuously posting information that tells their employees how to bring legal action against them, the obligation to display these notices is explicit in various labor laws and government regulations. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for example, includes a provision requiring all covered employers to display the federal minimum wage poster in an area frequented by employees. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations specifically require employers to post a federal safety and health poster or a state equivalent. Failure to comply with government labor law posting requirements could lead to citations and fines during an inspection. Fines vary by poster and by enforcing agency, ranging from as low as $110 up to a potential maximum of $10,000. In total, businesses that don’t post these required notices or post outdated information could face combined fines up to $17,000 per location.

Posting the required information in a back room that employees never enter is not enough to ensure compliance. Government regulations specifically require that the information be displayed in an area frequented by employees during the normal course of the workday. For many companies, that means posting the mandatory notices next to employee time clocks or in lunch areas.

Additionally, some posters must also be displayed in lobbies or applicant areas, as they describe laws that protect job applicants from unlawful discrimination or harassment. One example is the federal “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” Notice, published by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

If your employer does not post posters at your workplace relating to your rights under EEOC laws, OSHA and the Fair Labor Standards Act, then you need to either let them know or report the violation to the EEOC or U.S. Department of Labor. If they continue to fail to comply, enlist the assistance of an employment lawyer.

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As many of you know from my prior postings, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all non-exempt hourly employees to be paid for all time worked on an hourly basis and for all overtime worked at time and a half. This includes all work off the clock. Just because your employer tells you to work before punching in and or after punching out does not make it right or legal under the FLSA. In addition, if you are forced to work during your lunch break, you are required to be paid for that time and if it puts you over forty hours per week, then you are entitled to overtime.

Well apparently, someone in Walt Disney World’s vast legal department has not been carefully watching its cast and its supervisors. Since it agreed to pay dozens of clerks $433,000 in back pay for work performed before and after their normal shifts, according to Business Week magazine.

A report said Disney will pay the money to 69 employees of its food and beverage department in its theme park after the company was determined to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Their work was also performed during meal times, the magazine reported, and managers were not guiding employees according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

So don’t work without getting paid for it. If you suspect your employer is not paying you correctly get it checked out by the U.S. Department of Labor, who enforces the FLSA, or an employment attorney that handles FLSA cases.

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I have blogged on many occasions about the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law requires non-exempt employees to be paid at their regular hourly rate for all hours worked up to forty hours per week and to be paid overtime for each hour worked in excess of forty hours each week. There are of course many exceptions to this general rule. In addition, if you are a salaried and exempt employee you get paid the same salary regardless of the number of hours you work. Well a new case that has been filed adresses the isssue of whether working on your blackberry or responding to e-mails for your employer during non working hours is compensable.

A police sergeant is suing the city of Chicago for allegedly violating Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations by not compensating for time spent on the employer-issued BlackBerry during off-hours. The case is an opt-in collective action, allowing for other “similarly situated employees” to join the suit. According to the law suit, the sergeant and the Collective Class were allegedly required to be on call and respond to communications outside of their normal working hours. The suit says that the employees were not compensated for the time spent on their employer-issued communication devices during off-hours, including overtime pay.

The sergeant and the Collective Class were all non-exempt employees and compensated on an hourly basis. They are suing for unpaid wages and overtime pay, as well as interest and attorney’s fees.

“Exempt employees, they make the same salaries no matter how many hours they work during a week, so using a BlackBerry from home at night is not an overtime issue for them. But when you’re dealing with non-exempt employees, they have to be paid for all the time they work,” explains Susan Prince, a legal editor for Business and Legal Resources (BLR) in an interview with NPR.

So if you are an hourly employee and are expected to work on e-mails or blackberry’s during your off work hours, keep track of your time and speak to your employer about getting paid for this time. If the employer refuses you might want to speak to the U.S. Department of Labor or an employment law attorney that handles FLSA claims.

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