Universal Fire Systems of Tampa Florida failed to pay overtime to eligible employees regardless of hours worked. The company also did not keep time and attendance records for employees.
Employees were required to start shifts by loading load equipment before the first of the day without compensation, creating a violation when unpaid time exceeded 40 hours in a workweek, and no overtime was paid. The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has been stepping up enforcement in this area in several recent cases the government imposed stiff fines and possible imprisonment for repeat offenders.
In one recent case, a sheetrock company president in Minnesota was sentenced to two years in prison in addition to a fine of $3.3 million for underpaying employee overtime.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer who violates overtime compensation laws may be liable for back wages and liquidated damages.
In this case the employer will pay $112,435 in back wages.
“Simply paying employees a salary does not in itself mean they are not entitled to overtime,” said James Schmidt, the Wage and Hour Division’s district director in Tampa. earned.”
Keeping time and attendance records for employees is inexpensive and simple with an electronic time clock system that may include a physical time clock device like a fingerprint biometric time clock, or simply a web based time clock software. These employee time clocks are a fraction of the fines imposed from back wages and liquidated damages.