US-based custom metal fabrication and installation organisation TT and L Sheet Metal Inc has been ordered to pay $98,461 (£75,697.31) in back wages to 51 employees, following an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) into overtime violations.
The WHD investigation found that the organisation, based in Beaverton, Oregon, violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and failed to include time that employees spent driving when calculating overtime hours each week.
According to the FLSA, overtime pay at a rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a week. Some employees earned widely varying rates between projects over the course of a week, which required the employer to pay overtime based on the weighted average of those rates, or on the rates employees were paid while actually working the overtime hours.
However, TT and L Sheet Metal based its overtime calculations on employees’ lowest pay rates earned during each week, which resulted in additional overtime violations.
The employer also made deductions from employees’ pay for tools required for their jobs, resulting in further violations.
Thomas Silva, district director at WHD, said: “Violations like these are among the most common that we find in this industry, and they are completely avoidable.
“We encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we provide or to reach out to us directly for confidential assistance in understanding and complying with federal labor laws. Employers may speak with trained Wage and Hour professionals to get their questions answered and avoid violations.”
TT and L Sheet Metal was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.