Employer can't squirm out of overtime laws

by on March 30, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

What part of ’40 hours a week’ in FLSA regulations is confusing?

If someone where you work comes up with a plan for skirting overtime laws that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Unfortunately, many employers still misread the FLSA regulations and run afoul of the DOL, as this case shows.

Thought pay strategy was legit

Seems the owners of a restaurant chain thought they could get around overtime laws by scheduling workers to divide their time between three company-owned establishments.

That way, no worker ever put in more than 40 hours a week in any one restaurant – even though they frequently put in 50- and 60-hour weeks for the company that owned the chain.

Since the restaurants had different names and different payroll systems, the owners thought their strategy to avoid overtime laws was foolproof. But they were wrong.

Investigators arrived

One of the restaurant workers got wise and made a call to the DOL. Wage and Hour investigators arrived for an impromptu inspection of all three units and their payroll records.

The investigators soon determined the employer owed 67 employees nearly $120,000 in back wages.

Because the employer agreed to cooperate with the DOL and pay the back wages it owed its workers, no penalties were assessed.

Cite: DOL v. Boca Grande.

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