An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $602,745, in overtime back wages for 127 employees of a Woods Cross tile installation company that denied them their full wages and benefits.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division found C&E Stone Masonry LLC paid its workers straight time for all hours worked. The employer claimed it incorrectly thought that if it paid its employees by piece work, they did not have to pay overtime. By doing so, C&E Stone paid straight time for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek when the overtime premium was required. The division also cited the employer for failing to maintain records of hours worked each workday and total hours worked each workweek, including for piece-work employees, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Ignorance of the law is not a defense, especially when vulnerable workers are denied the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kevin Hunt in Salt Lake City. “Employers must be informed about labor laws, and must ensure that workers and their families who depend on their earnings and benefits are not harmed. Employers may contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions about their obligations or worker’s rights.”
The Wage and Hour Division enforces laws governing pay practices and other labor standards, and determines if employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors and denied them critical benefits and worker protections.
In fiscal year 2021, the division identified more than $36 million in back wages owed to about 21,000 construction industry workers. In its investigations, the division commonly finds violations related to employers failing to pay overtime when required, misclassifying workers as independent contractors and not paying them for time spent on work-related travel, or pre- and post-shift work.
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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