Hey Compliance Warriors!
The US DOL is no joke when it comes to following wage and hour laws. When an investigator uncovers a problem and the employer is non-compliant, jail time may become the next step. Read this cautionary tale about a smallish employer in VA and help Big Boss understand the potential outcome of non-compliance.
The owner of a Hampton, Virginia, landscaping and snow removal company has been arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service for failing to comply with federal court orders.
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and litigation by the department’s Office of the Solicitor, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered Merryman Grounds Maintenance Inc. and its owner and president, David Merryman, to pay $45,846 in back wages and liquidated damages to employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to provide additional information to help the division determine if additional employees are owed back wages.
The employer has continued to violate the court’s orders and the court issued a bench warrant for Merryman’s arrest. The court ordered that the company’s owner be taken into custody and remain in custody until he pays the back wages due and produces all required records, including employee names and contact information.
“When employers like Merryman Grounds Maintenance Inc. and its owner and president, David Merryman, flout the authority of the U.S. Department of Labor to enforce the law, along with a court order requiring compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, we will use every instrument in our toolbox to bring them to justice,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III in Philadelphia.
“The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to pursue actions to ensure Merryman’s employees and other similarly situated employees in this industry receive the money they are owed,” said Regional Administrator Mark Watson Jr. in Philadelphia.
If you have any information regarding Merryman Grounds Maintenance Inc. or are a former or current employee of the company, please contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the Wage and Hour Division’s Richmond District Office at (804) 771-2995.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division here, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. The Division protects workers regardless of immigration status, and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages.
Walsh v. Merryman Grounds Maintenance Inc. and David Merryman. Civil Action No. 4:14-cv-00093-MSD-LRL
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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