A flooring retail and installation company in Manchester, N.H., was ordered to pay employees $250,000 after a judge found the owner violated overtime and anti-retaliation provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.
The order followed an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
C & C Flooring LLC must pay 33 current and former employees a total of $240,000 in back wages and liquidated damages and $10,000 in punitive damages. The company declined to comment on the judgement.
The investigation found the flooring company owner paid employees unrecorded cash at straight-time rates after they worked more than 40 hours per week instead of paying time-and-a-half for the overtime work. The employer also “banked” some overtime hours and paid them out in later workweeks at straight-time rates, according to the USDL.
“The defendants also failed to maintain accurate time records, and retaliated against employees by asking them to provide false information to WHD,” the department stated.
In addition to the back wages and damages payments, the judgment also required the owner to do the following:
- Rehire any workers covered by this case before hiring others, unless they can substantiate that the individuals were terminated for cause;
- Provide current and future employees with notice of their FLSA rights and WHD fact sheets;
- Train supervisors and payroll personnel annually on compliance with the FLSA;
- Supervise an annual FLSA compliance audit to be reviewed and approved by a lawyer or Certified Public Accountant with FLSA expertise; and
- Agree to a writ of execution so the Department may petition the court unopposed to have the U.S. Marshals Service seize the defendants’ property if they fail to comply with the monetary terms of the judgment.
The order also bars the owner from giving raises to himself or his wife, who is also an employee of the company.
“Employers must understand their responsibility to pay overtime, keep accurate records and refrain from retaliation against workers who exercise their legal rights. In this case, the workers will receive their back pay and damages, including punitive damages, and the employer has also paid a significant monetary penalty for the willful violations,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin said in a statement.