The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a $3,000,000 judgment against Stratis Construction Inc., a residential drywall company based in Phoenix, Arizona, for violating overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The court judgment follows an investigation by the Department of Labor that determined the employer paid piece rate employees the same rate per piece regardless of the number of hours they worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek since the employer failed to pay them time and one-half for hours after forty. The construction company also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements when it failed to keep a record of the number of hours worked by the piece-rate employees. The employer failed to make, keep, and preserve adequate and accurate records of their employees and the wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment maintained by them.
The U.S. District Court of Arizona judgment ordered Stratis Construction to pay $1,500,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 1,039 current and former employees. The court also ordered payment of $200,000 in civil money penalties due to willful nature of the violations.
“Employers must understand their responsibilities and ensure they pay workers all the wages they have legally earned. Failure to pay employees as the law requires short-changes them and puts law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage,” said a Department of Labor spokesman. “We encourage other employers to use this case as an opportunity to evaluate their own pay practices and ensure they comply. They can avoid violations like those found in this case.”
“A federal court agreed with the basic tenet that all workers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime,” said a Department of Labor Attorney. “It’s unacceptable for an employer to deny workers wages they have legally earned. The outcome of this case demonstrates our commitment to using all the tools we have available, including the courts, to ensure that employers are held accountable and that workers take home their hard-earned pay.”
If you believe you are a victim of wage theft or owed overtime pay, please call the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at the number 212-583-9500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your labor rights.