Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), if an employer requires to be somewhere or do something, they must pay the employees for the entire time – even if that time is spent waiting to work. Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage did not follow this requirement and has now been ordered to pay $498,604 in back wages and liquidation damages for wage violations. The violations stemmed from two sets of problems. First, per the Department of Labor (“DOL”), Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage required temporary workers to be in the production area of the plant 15 minutes before the start of their shift without compensation. Because the workers were being paid minimum wage, the extra 15 minutes per day reduced the employees’ wages below the required threshold. Additionally, the extra one hour and 15 minutes per week pushed the employees over 40 hours per week, for which they were not paid time and half.
The second wage and hour violation occurred because Lucca paid temporary employees to unload trailers at a rate of $40 per trailer without calculating the work into overtime after the employee worked in excess of 40 hours a week.
It is also important to note that because the employees were paid through a temporary staffing agency, both Lucca and the staffing agency were held to be liable for FLSA minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping violations.
The moral of the story remains the same. Employees must be paid of all time spent at the discretion of their employer and must be paid time and half whenever the work goes over 40 hours per week.
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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