Pennsylvania Laundromat to Pay Workers $478k for Wage Violations

Pennsylvania’s Central
Laundry Inc. ordered to pay $239,269 in back wages, and an equal amount in
liquidated damages to 21 employees following an investigation by the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Department of Labor determined that the Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, laundry
violated the minimum wage,
and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it
paid some employees at rates as low as $5 per hour, in cash, and failed to pay
employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. Investigators
found some employees worked as many as 90 hours per week at sub-minimum wage
rates with no overtime premium. The federal minimum wage is currently
$7.25 per hour. The Department of Labor also found that Central Laundry – a
company that, under the name Olympic Linen, provides laundry service for hotel
and restaurant operators in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware –
did not keep FLSA-required records.

case is an example of a company committing egregious, ongoing minimum wage and
overtime violations,” said James Cain, Director of Wage and Hour’s Philadelphia
District Office. “We urge employers to reach out to us for guidance, and to use
the numerous resources we offer to provide employers the tools they need to
comply with the law.” “This decision holds the company accountable for its
failure to comply with the law, and helps ensure that employees are paid
correctly,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III. “Central Laundry’s
willful disregard for the law harmed employees and gave the company an unfair
competitive advantage over other employers who play by the rules.”

addition to paying the back wages and liquidated damages, the court has
enjoined the company from violating the FLSA in the future. The FLSA requires
that employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (note that
New York’s minimum wage is $13) per hour for all hours worked, plus time and
one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employees
must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.



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