LAKELAND, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Universal Painting Corp. – a painting company based in Lakeland, Florida – has paid $55,439 in back wages to 71 employees to resolve overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found Universal Painting Corp. failed to pay employees for all the hours that they worked. Rather than recording the hours workers spent traveling between job sites, the employer instead paid flat rates for this time and failed to count those hours when determining when overtime was due. This practice led to violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week, but excluding their travel time from the total resulted in the employer failing to recognize and pay overtime. Universal’s failure to record the number of hours employees worked accurately also resulted in a recordkeeping violation under the FLSA.

“Employers must ensure they accurately track and pay for all the hours employees work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff, in Tampa, Florida. “The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to confirm that workers are being paid as the law prescribes and that we will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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