Paradise Granite ordered to pay $134,097 in back wages and liquidated damages

Paradise Granite

Alabama-based countertop installation organisation Paradise Granite has been ordered to pay $134,097 (£104,639.91) in back wages and liquidated damages to 22 employees, due to violations of overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The violations were uncovered by an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor, which has also issued the organisation with a civil penalty of $8,097 (£6,318.33).

WHD investigators found that Paradise Granite had paid straight time rates to hourly employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, rather than paying time-and-one-half for overtime. The employer also paid other workers flat salaries, without regard to the number of hours worked.

This practice, said the US Department of Labor, created overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a week but were not paid overtime. The department also said the employer failed to record the number of hours worked by some members of staff.

Kenneth Stripling, Birmingham district director for the WHD, said: “Employers [that] fail to comply with federal labour laws and short their workers’ pay gain an unfair advantage over employers [that] play by the rules. We will continue to provide tools to employers that help them understand their obligations, and to enforce these laws to level the playing field for employers.”

Previously, an investigation into the activity of a related organisation owned by the same employer also uncovered overtime violations.

Paradise Granite was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.