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FLSA Violations Can Result in Overtime Employee Lawsuits

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The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has actively been pursuing claims of FLSA violations and has recovered $225 million in back wages for employees in 2011, which was a 28% increase from the previous year.  Examples of violations, include:

  • Houston’s Ocean Palace Restaurant paid $125,763 in back wages to 61 current and former workers including hostesses, cashiers, kitchen staff, food runners, busboys, dishwashers, and wait staff.  The DOL investigation revealed that the restaurant classified some of its employees as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) so that they could pay their workers a flat wage no matter how many hours those employees worked. 
  • Arlington-based Espitia Cleaning Inc. paid $53,095 in back wages to 130 current and former janitors following a DOL investigation. The investigation revealed that workers received “straight time” pay  for all hours worked, even if they worked beyond 40 hours. 
  • Three Houston-based ambulance companies are being sued by the DOL for $142,000 in minimum wage, overtime, and back pay for 76 dispatchers, paramedics, and administrative workers after their investigation found that some of these employees were misclassified as independent contractors, and some received “straight time.”
  • Ice cream parlor workers at Houston-based Marble Slab Creamery received more than $30,000 in a doubling of their back wages following a DOL investigation. The investigation revealed that workers were paid semimonthly and didn’t receive the proper overtime pay.

In order to not find your company in a similar position as the companies above, it is critical to review Texas overtime laws and whether certain employees are or are not exempt. In order to make sure you are complying and to avoid an overtime lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced Austin employment and labor lawyer to review if you are in compliance. Unfortunately, misclassifying employees or failing to properly calculate overtime can be extremely costly for small businesses in terms of fines and lawsuits. For help, call the The Posey Law Firm, PC toll free at 888-269-1962 or locally at 512-646-0828 today.

Category: Labor and Employment Law

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