El Paso Company Violates Labor Law, Pays Up

El Paso Company Violates Labor Law, Pays Up
Photo Courtesy Eddie Romero

POSTED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 8:43am

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 10:41am

El Paso Hose & Fittings Corp. has paid 10 current and former employees $31,486
in minimum and overtime back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Workers need to be fully and fairly paid for every hour they spend on the job,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employers comply with the FLSA.”

The investigation, which was conducted by the division’s El Paso Field Office, found that employees were required to arrive prior to their start times and work later than their scheduled ending times, but were not compensated for pre- or post-shift hours. Investigators also found that the company made deductions of one hour for lunch breaks when employees either took half-hour lunch breaks or did not take lunch breaks at all. These practices resulted in both minimum wage and overtime pay violations. Finally, required record keeping was not maintained.

El Paso Hose & Fittings has agreed to future compliance with the FLSA. The back wages owed have been paid in full.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.

For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Albuquerque, N.M., office at 505-248-6100. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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