U.S. Department of Labor issued the following announcement on Feb. 3.
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Ricky L. Bryant Ltd. – doing business as Bryant Electric in Levelland, Texas – has paid $44,685 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 43 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found that the employer automatically deducted time for meal breaks from employees’ hours regardless of whether or not they had actually taken those breaks. The employer failed to pay employees who worked through their breaks for time they worked, and failed to record all of the hours employees worked – both FLSA violations.
“Employers must understand the law’s requirements and pay workers all of the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Evelyn Sanchez in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to ensure that employees are paid as the law requires. Other employers that automatically deduct for meal breaks should use this investigation as an opportunity to review their pay practices to ensure they are not committing the same violation.”
The department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.