JACKSONVILLE, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $62,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 38 workers after the operators of three Jacksonville hotels shortchanged their employees by failing to pay overtime as required by law.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Epic Lodging Inc., operating as Days Inn Jacksonville at 1170 Airport Road, paid most employees straight-time rates, regardless of the number of hours they worked. By doing so, the employer denied them the additional half-time rates for hours worked over 40, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The agency recovered $17,342 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for 32 workers.

Investigators also found SNL ONE Inc., operating as Jax Inn at 460 Lane Ave., violated the FLSA’s overtime provisions when it shaved overtime hours from some employees’ timecards and paid others straight-time rates for all hours worked. The division recovered $9,630 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for five workers and assessed the employer $3,325 in civil money penalties for willfully falsifying time records to conceal overtime worked.

In addition, Merks LLC, operating as Holiday Inn Express at 537 Chaffee Point Blvd., misapplied a managerial overtime exemption for one employee and failed to pay them the additional half-time rate for hours worked over 40, resulting in the recovery of $4,297 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the employee.

“These investigations demonstrate the Department of Labor’s continued dedication to protecting workers in the hospitality industry. Employees who work more than 40 hours per week deserve the overtime pay they have rightfully earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division offers many resources to employers to help them obey the law and avoid similar, costly violations.”

Workers and employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from. Calls are confidential and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including its search tool to learn if you are owed back wages collected by the division. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s timesheet app in Spanish or English, available for iOS and Android for free.

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