The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $333,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 51 employees of a Long Island maintenance company that issued separate checks to workers to mask the company’s failure to pay overtime wages when required by law.
Department of Labor Investigators determined that employees worked as many as 80 hours per week or more but, typically, Professional Building Maintenance Corp. and owner Brady Patruno paid them straight-time hourly rates instead of paying overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek.
Specifically, the company and Patruno paid employees working overtime hours in a pay period by issuing more than one check, one from the company’s payroll account for the first 40 or fewer hours of work and a second check from another account for overtime hours. However, the employer, did not pay the required overtime rate for hours over 40 in a workweek. The company issued checks for overtime hours at straight-time hourly rates either from a second company bank account and/or from straw corporations that Professional Building Maintenance Corp. passed off as subcontractors.
The investigation recovered $166,702 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages and led the department to assess $15,432 in civil money penalties because of the willful nature of the violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Employers who wrongly believe they can disregard the law and deprive workers of their hard-earned wages will face significant consequences when their illegal actions are discovered,” said a Department of Labor spokesperson.
The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the required rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek.
If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 20 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.