ORLANDO, FL – Employers cannot avoid paying overtime by simply putting employees on a salary, a costly lesson learned by a Florida equipment rental company after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigators determined that DeLand’s CJ Don’s Rental Group LLC and Ormond Beach’s Logsyd Group LLC – both operating as Southern Equipment Rental – paid flat salaries to certain employees, regardless of the number of hours they worked. By doing so, the employer violated overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act that require most employees to receive  additional half-time when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. In addition, Southern Equipment Rental failed to maintain records of hours worked by employees paid a fixed salary.

The investigation led to the division’s recovery of $65,967 in back wages and liquidated damages for 13 workers at the DeLand location and $56,309 for nine workers at the Ormond Beach location.

“Paying employees a salary doesn’t exclude employers from their legal obligation to pay overtime wages. Most workers, especially blue-collar workers, are required to receive additional half-time pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, whether they are paid by the hour, the piece or on a salary basis,” said Wage and Hour Division District Office Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division is available to help workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the law. Violations like those found in this case are avoidable.”

The Wage and Hour Division provides multiple tools to help employers understand their responsibilities, and offers confidential compliance assistance to anyone with questions about how to comply with the law. Workers can call the division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

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.

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