HARTFORD, CT – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, a federal court entered a consent judgment requiring a government contractor based in New Bern, North Carolina, to pay a total of $13,085 in back pay and punitive damages to an employee for violating the anti-retaliation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department found that D2 Government Solutions LLC retaliated against an employee who complained about their wages to D2 and the Connecticut National Guard, a government entity with which D2 had contracted. D2 issued the employee a disciplinary letter that prohibited them from contacting government officials about their employment, an action that could discourage other employees from engaging in FLSA-protected activity. As further evidence of retaliation, the employee was not reinstated following a temporary layoff, though five other laid-off D2 employees were called back to work. The FLSA prohibits employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees for exercising their rights. “Effective enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employees feel free to speak with the U.S. Department of Labor and cooperate in our investigations and litigation,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia S. Fisher in Boston. “The department will take swift legal action to hold employers accountable when they chill employees from asserting their rights, including the right to communicate with the department about potential wage and hour violations.”The consent judgment, entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, requires D2 to expunge the disciplinary letter from the employee’s employment record, train all managers and supervisors regarding the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions and provide written notice of those provisions to all employees. The order also prohibits the employer from retaliating and taking, or threatening to take, any adverse action against any current or former employees who assert their FLSA rights. “This case reminds employers that the U.S. Department of Labor will not tolerate retaliation and will seek to recover back pay owed to employees,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Donald Epifano in Hartford, Connecticut. “The Fair Labor Standards Act forbids employers from taking adverse action against employees for engaging in protected activities such as inquiring about their pay, filing a complaint or cooperating with a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.”D2 Government Solutions LLC provides administrative and logistical support through contracts with military bases in multiple locations.Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.
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