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DOL Celebrates Labor Day with Renewed Commitment to Safety, Fair Wages

September 3, 2012

Every year, on the first Monday of September, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates Labor Day by honoring the workers of this country with a renewed commitment to promoting safety in the workplace, fair compensation and making sure that employers follow the federal minimum wage and overtime laws.

This year, during 'Labor Rights Week,' Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis stressed the continued importance of creating workplaces that are fair and safe, where employees are paid what they are owed by law--which means that no one can be paid less than the federal minimum wage.

As Vincent Howard regularly reports in Howard Law, PC's Riverside employment lawyers blog, under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, (FLSA) all employees who are covered by the act must be paid the federal minimum wage of at least $7.25 for all hours worked, with overtime compensation of one and a half their regular rates of pay for any hours worked over forty in a workweek.

The DOL's continued fight against wage and hour violations is exemplified in a recent Labor Department investigation, which resulted in the payment of $657,069 in back wages and liquidated damages to 519 New Jersey workers.

According to the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Frank Donio Inc., (FDI) a wholesale produce broker, was found to have paid employees, responsible for hand-packing vegetables and fruits at the FDI facility, $6.50 per hour--less than the federal mandated minimum wage. The employees were also not paid proper overtime wages for working beyond forty hours a week, a FLSA requirement. The company was also found to have violated the FLSA's record-keeping provisions by not properly maintaining the hours that employees worked, or keeping accurate records identifying employees.

The WHD investigation also found that FDI used a temporary employment agency, Heng Heng Agency Inc., to the staff workers--which according to the WHD, makes both companies responsible for the FLSA violations.

The DOL stated that when employees have been hired by a third party employment agency, the employer must not avoid their direct responsibility under federal law to compensate these workers fairly. The Labor Department declared its continuing commitment to protecting vulnerable low-wage workers by ensuring that employers comply with these federal wage and hour laws.

In Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and Villa Park, contact attorney Vincent Howard today, to discuss your California wage and hour rights.

Hammonton, NJ, wholesale produce broker to pay more than $650,000 in back wages and damages following US Labor Department investigation, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, August 27, 2012

Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on Labor Rights Week 2012, U.S. Department of Labor News Release, August 27, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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