LAKELAND, FL – Piece-rate pay practices make workers’ paychecks solely dependent on the amount of work produced, regardless of how many hours are worked. When using these practices, however, employers must still comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and record all hours worked, pay minimum wage and overtime when applicable.

High Tower Roofing LLC – a Lakeland roofing contractor – paid its workers a piece-rate and failed to pay the additional half-time premium for overtime hours, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has found. Investigators determined the employer paid roofers the same piece rate for all of their work, even when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The law requires overtime at time and one-half workers’ regular rates of pay for hours beyond 40, even for those paid a piece-rate. To resolve the violations, the employer paid $50,034 in back wages to 112 workers.

The investigation also determined the employer violated federal child labor requirements by employing a minor to operate a vehicle on public roadways. High Tower hired the minor as a supplies runner who was required to deliver supplies to roofers at job sites. The division assessed a $1,864 civil penalty for violating child labor requirements of the FLSA.

“These hard-working construction workers deserve to be paid all the wages they have earned. Many roofing industry employers may believe that only employees paid by the hour are entitled to overtime, but that is not true. Nonexempt workers paid by the square-foot, a day rate, per contract or on a salary basis must also be paid overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa, Florida.

“This case should also serve to remind other companies employing minors to familiarize themselves with federal child labor requirements so that minor employees can continue to gain valuable work experience as safely as possible,” Ratmiroff added.

High Tower Roofing Inc. is a Lakeland-based residential and commercial roofing contractor providing services to the local area.

The division offers numerous compliance assistance tool kits to help construction industry employers learn about their obligations under federal law.

For more information about child labor standards, the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and use its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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