ATLANTA – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has ordered the owner of a Stone Mountain insurance agency to pay $50,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to a worker terminated after inquiring about pay.
The court’s action follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found that M. Davis Insurance Agency Inc. – operating as Marc Davis State Farm – fired a worker after they requested information about compensation. Instead of answering the worker’s questions about their pay, Marc Davis State Farm retaliated by terminating their employment.
In addition to back wages and damages, the court order prohibits Davis from the doing the following:
Accepting, requesting, or requiring that current or former workers return or decline wages owed.
Threatening current or former workers to affect their FLSA rights.
Making employee working conditions unfavorable, as a way of limiting their FLSA rights.
Attempting to influence employee participation in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation or instructing workers to avoid speaking to or giving information to its investigators.
Attempting to fire other workers affected by the court proceedings.
“Worker engagement with the U.S. Department of Labor is protected activity. They have the right to ask questions about an employer’s pay practices, and the law protects their right to do so,” said Atlanta District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta. “Employees and workers alike can benefit from the tools Wage and Hour Division offers for the public to learn and understand their responsibilities and rights.”
For information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the agency’s website to 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.