DOL Overtime Lawsuit Resolved--Kinder Morgan Will Pay $830K to Over 4,600 Employees
August 16, 2011
In a recent Irvine employment lawyers blog, our attorneys reported on a wage and hour lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) against Kinder Morgan, Inc., a giant North American pipeline transportation and energy storage company, after the company was found by the DOL to have violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
According to a recent announcement by the DOL, the Labor Department has settled the lawsuit, filed against both Kinder Morgan, Inc., and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, after a DOL investigation found the companies liable for violating the FLSA's overtime provisions at eleven Kinder Morgan locations across the country. Kinder Morgan was accused of not including bonuses that were paid to employees as part of the normal pay rate--which according to the FLSA should have been added as overtime compensation. The DOL also found that multiple locations neglected to pay employees for pre-shift mandatory meetings and incorrectly rounded the hours of the employees to suit the company's best interest.
Under the FLSA's overtime provisions, an employer is not required to provide a bonus to employees. If, however, a non-discretionary bonus is given to employees, then the bonus must be considered as part of the worker's regular pay rate when calculating overtime. As our attorneys discussed in a recent Fullerton, California employment lawyers blog, employees who are covered under the FLSA must receive overtime compensation for time worked over forty hours in a week of work, at no less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. This regular pay rate must be at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for every hour worked. It is also mandatory under the FLSA for employers to maintain payroll and time records that are accurate.
Kinder Morgan has agreed to compensate the 4,659 workers who have worked for the company as laborers, operators, technicians, administrative non exempt employees and maintenance workers, among others, with $830,422 in back wages. According to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, under the FLSA, an employee's hours must be counted, and overtime pay must be calculated accurately and clearly. Solis stated that this wage and hour settlement provides the employees with their right to back wages, but also ensures that the company complies with the federal wage and hour laws in the future and doesn't keep workers from receiving the fair minimum wage and overtime compensation, to which they are entitled.
In Orange County, California, contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC to discuss your wage and hour rights over a free consultation. Call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.
Kinder Morgan to pay more than $830,000 in overtime back wages to 4,659 employees, resolving US Labor Department lawsuit, U.S. Department of Labor, July 26, 2011
More than 4,600 Kinder Morgan workers to get back pay, Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2011
US Labor Department Sues Houston-based Kinder Morgan, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, February 10, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Related Blog Posts:
DOL Forces Texas Company to Pay $433K in Back Wages For Employee Misclassification , California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 5, 2011
AT&T Sued for Employment Misclassification by At-Home Call Center Employees, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 1, 2011
CA Drug Sales Reps Sue Novo Nordisk in Class Action Wage and Hour Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 28, 2011
Aon Corp. Settles Employee Misclassification Lawsuit for $10.5M , California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 8, 2011
Workers File $60M Lawsuit Against Blackwater/Xe for Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2011
Court Awards Over $200K to Security Guards in Employment Misclassification Lawsuit Resolution, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 14, 2011
DOL's Smartphone App Could Reduce Wage Theft, Overtime Disputes, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2011
Kinder Morgan Sued for Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations , California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 10, 2011