ST. PAUL – Twin Cities’ area shoppers know about Supermercado Lomabonita’s five locations, but they may not know that a recent U.S. Department of Labor investigation found the grocer failed to pay overtime to its cooks, butchers, bakers and cashiers as required by law.

Following an investigation as part of an education and enforcement initiative in the grocery industry by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, Supermercado Lomabonita will pay $212,459 in overtime back wages to 81 employees. The division found the grocer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by:

Paying employees “straight-time” for all the hours that they worked, including overtime hours that the employer should have paid at time-and-one-half workers’ regular rates of pay;
Failing to combine hours that employees worked at multiple store sites during the same workweek, leading to  violations when total weekly hours exceeded 40, but the employer failed to pay overtime;
Erroneously considering some employees as exempt from overtime. These employees worked up to 70 hours a week for a flat salary, and should have received overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week; and  
Failing to maintain accurate records of the number of hours employees worked.

“Violations like these are all too common in the grocery industry. Shorting low-wage workers’ pay prevents them from meeting their basic needs,” explained Acting Wage and Hour Division District Director Kristin Tout, in Minneapolis. “Our enforcement and education initiatives raise awareness of federal labor laws and protections among employers, workers, community organizations and others, and help ensure that workers take home every penny of their hard-earned wages.”

The Wage and Hour Division 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 Wage and Hour Division offices. For more information visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd or call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

The investigation disclosed the following back wages due, by location:

 

Location

# of Workers

Back Wages Due

Crystal

23

$74,551

Savage

25

$83,692

Hilltop

11

$16,597

Saint Paul

17

$33,202

Monticello

5

$4,418

 

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