US construction organisation pays $178,766 in back pay for overtime violations

drywall construction

Florida-based framing and drywall construction organisation Gomez Drywall Contractors has been ordered to pay $178,766 (£140,872.97) in back pay to 108 employees for violating overtime regulations.

An investigation conducted by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), part of the US Department of Labor, found that Gomez Drywall Contractors has misclassified its staff as independent contractors, subsequently failing to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours over the working week. This violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires employers to pay overtime hours at time and a half an employee’s regular pay.

Gomez Drywall Contractors also did not comply with the FLSA’s recordkeeping provision; the organisation failed to maintain the required time and payroll records.

The investigation further found that staff employed primarily by Gomez Drywall Contractors were also jointly employed by Texas-based general contractor RSL Contractors, which had hired Gomez Drywall Contractors as a subcontractor. RSL Contractors assisted with the WHD’s investigation and has agreed to release any due payments directly to the Department of Labor.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) also participated in the investigation and contributed to the resolution.

Troy Mouton, district director, New Orleans at the WHD, said: “Violations like those found in this case are common in this industry and are avoidable. The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they’ve earned and that employers compete on a level playing field.”