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Contractor Pays $682K for Unpaid Overtime

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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A Texas contractor has paid $682,318 in back wages to 161 employees to resolve allegations the company did not pay the workers overtime wages, according to federal officials.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found that Allied Foundation Specialists, of Deer Park, TX, paid laborers flat time rates for overtime hours worked over a two-year period.

overtime
© iStock.com / vinnstock

Allied Foundation Specialists' employees averaged 45 hours per week during five-day workweeks, and 53 hours per week when they worked six days, authorities said. Workers were paid flat time rates for overtime hours, labor officials said.

It also failed to keep records of the number of days and hours its employees worked, according to a release from the Labor Department.

Workers averaged 45 hours per week during five-day workweeks, and 53 hours per week when they worked six days, authorities said. The investigative period was from January 2013 to January 2015, according to a spokesperson from the Labor Department. The workers were paid back wages in February.

A copy of the judgment document was not immediately available for review Monday (May 9).

Resolution

“Construction workers know the value of hard-earned wages for long, tough days especially under a hot Texas sun,” said Betty Campbell, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest.

In addition to paying the back wages, the company has agreed to keep proper records and comply with all provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future.

Allied Foundation employs about 200 workers who perform foundation repair, house leveling, barrier root systems and sewer pipe replacements in the Houston area. The family-owned company was founded in 1982 and boasts one-day repair services on its website.

Others on Notice

“This is not the first time we’ve seen construction industry employers illegally paying flat day rates with no overtime pay,” added Campbell.

“The resolution of this case should put other employers on notice if they’re paying their workers in this manner. We are committed to holding employers who violate the law accountable, so that workers are paid what they have earned, and so that employers who play by the rules do not find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.”

U.S. Dept of Labor
Ed Brown / Wikimedia Commons

The Wage and Hour division's investigation was part of a push to improve labor law compliance in the construction industry.

The investigation was part of a broader regional enforcement initiative in the state’s construction industry, officials said.

In 2015, the division recovered more than $460,000 for more than 510 construction industry workers in Texas.

   

Tagged categories: Business management; Business operations; Construction; Department of Labor; Enforcement; Ethics; Workers

Comment from H. J. BOSWORTH, (5/10/2016, 11:32 AM)

Sad that a big company seemed to be cheating workers that dig tunnels under houses for a living. If anything, they should be paid more! Tunneling by hand is hard, dirty and hot!


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