Owner of Six New Jersey Citgo Gas Stations to Pay 1.4M in Back Wages
A Department of Labor investigation revealed that over 20 employees across six southern New Jersey Citgo and Lukoil gas stations were owed back pay for unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay. The gas station owner required the station attendants to work seven days a week for ten hours or more each day. The gas stations illegally paid each employee a fixed salary regardless of the hours they worked, causing their hourly wage to be less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Throughout their employment, these workers were also denied compensation at one and a half times their regular rate for every hour worked above forty per workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In addition to paying workers incorrectly for all hours worked, the employer also failed to maintain required payroll records. Under the terms of the settlement between the employer and the Department of Labor, 24 employees will receive $735,512 in unpaid minimum wage and overtime compensation and $735,512 in liquidated damages. The gas stations were also forced to pay an additional penalty of $8,976 for the violations and have agreed to install an electronic timekeeping system in each gas station, change break policies to ensure that employees are paid when they are unable to take breaks, and provide information about employees’ rights under the FLSA.
A representative for the Department of Labor said, “we will vigorously enforce the law to ensure txhat companies that comply compete on a level playing field and to safeguard employees’ hard-earned wages.”
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