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DOL Sues DirecTV and Subcontractor for Wage and Hour Violations

November 16, 2012

The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) has recently filed a wage and hour lawsuit against California-based DirecTV, the telecommunications provider, for violating the minimum wage and record keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The lawsuit also names Advanced Information Systems, a television servicing contractor, along with the owner Ramon Martinez.

According to a the DOL press release that Costa Mesa, California-based attorney Vincent Howard has been following, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) launched an investigation into both companies, and found that Advanced Information Systems and DirecTV compensated their installers on a piece-rate basis--which caused their hourly rates sink below the federal minimum wage.

As Vincent Howard frequently discusses in Howard Law's California employment lawyers blog, under the FLSA, covered employees must be compensated with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for every hour worked on the job, plus overtime payment of one and one-half their regular rates of payment for any hours worked beyond forty in a week of work, plus bonuses, commissions and incentive pay.

The wage and hour investigation, which reportedly included employee interviews, surveillance, and major record reviews, found that the companies' failed to pay the employees for all hours worked, and failed to provide them with overtime compensation. The defendants also allegedly failed to maintain accurate records of the employees' work hours and wages.

The lawsuit is asking that the affected workers receive compensation for unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages. The wage and hour lawsuit also asks the court to bar DirecTV and Advanced Information Systems from violating the FLSA in the future.

As subcontractor and employer, Advanced Information Systems and DirecTV were both found responsible for violating the FLSA and willfully underpaying their employees, and according to Seattle's District WHD Office, subcontracting labor does not allow an employer to shirk their responsibilities for FLSA compliance.

Under federal law, "hours worked" comprises all time that a worker must be on job duty, or on the employer's premises, or at any other designated place of work--from the start of the principal work activity, until the end of the principal work activity, at the workday's end. The FLSA also requires that employers maintain accurate records of their workers' wages, hours and all other conditions of employment. Under the FLSA, employers who violate federal labor laws, are also responsible, as a general rule, for compensating back wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages to affected employees.

In La Habra, La Palma, and Garden Grove, California, contact our labor and employment attorney Vincent Howard today, to discuss your California wage and hour rights. Call us today for a free consultation toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.

US Labor Department sues DirecTV, subcontractor to recover back wages, liquidated damages for Washington state installation technicians, The U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, September 5, 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)

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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