Employers:    Red Oak Tree Service Inc., Crystal Lake, Illinois                        Humberto Gonzalez, owner                        Action:           U.S. Department of Labor complaint filing Court:             U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division (Rockford)Court action: The department filed a complaint on March 21, 2024, after an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division found the employer violated the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime provisions. Investigators found the Crystal Lake tree removal and landscaping business and its owner Humberto Gonzalez paid the affected employees paid straight time in cash for their overtime work from at least Nov. 1, 2020 to Oct. 30, 2022. Workers should have received time and one-half their hourly rate for hours over 40 in a workweek. Investigators found $963,854 — representing $481,927 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages — are due to 29 employees of Red Oak Tree Service Inc. Quote: “Workers must be paid time and one-half their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek unless they meet very specific criteria. Not paying them earned overtime takes money out of their pockets of workers, harming employees and their communities because workers have less to spend,” said Wage and Hour District Director Tom Gauza in Chicago. “Employers are legally responsible for knowing and complying with federal wage laws.”Background: Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish –to ensure hours and pay are accurate.United States Department of Labor v. Red Oak Tree Service, Inc.Civil Action No. 3:24-cv-50116

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