Date of action:                      May 20, 2024 Type of action:                     Consent judgment and order  Names of defendants:           P & B Heating & Air Conditioning Corp., West Babylon, New York;                                                Craig Napolitano; Robert Napolitano  Background:  On Oct. 3, 2022 – after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation of its pay practices – the heating, ventilation and air conditioning company agreed to pay $144,350 in overtime back wages to employees to resolve its violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Shortly thereafter, the department alleges that P & B Heating & Air Conditioning began retaliating against employees and threatening them with termination if they did not kick back the wage payments and that at least one employee did so. On April 6, 2023, the department obtained a temporary restraining order to forbid P & B Heating & Air Conditioning from retaliating against employees.  The department also filed a complaint related to the employers’ violations of the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions. On April 17, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction on consent carrying forward the temporary restraining order’s terms, for as long as the Department’s complaint remains pending in court. Resolution:  On May 20, 2024, the court issued a consent judgment and order requiring P & B Heating & Air Conditioning to pay $15,000 in punitive damages to affected workers and permanently enjoining the employer from violating the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions.  Court:                                     U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Docket Number:                    Civil Action No. 2:23-cv-02582-NJC-LGD Quotes:                                   “This outcome should remind employers that the U.S. Department of Labor will actively pursue all legal avenues to halt and address employers’ illegal intimidation of their workers. This includes obtaining punitive damages for affected workers,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York. “The Wage and Hour Division does not tolerate retaliation or intimidation of any kind against workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act is designed to protect workers against being forced to kick back the wages they earned and should have been paid in the first place,” said Wage and Hour District Director David An in Westbury, New York.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. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of where they are from – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download the agency’s Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices — also available in Spanish — to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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