SAN ANTONIO – The pay practices of a San Antonio company that exclusively hires military veterans to work as security guards violated federal law and shortchanged 79 employees of $57,465 in overtime back wages, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found.
On Nov. 19, the department filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against Texas Veteran Security LLC and owner, Gerard X. Morales to recover the wages. The suit seeks the back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages totaling $114,930 for the workers, as well as injunctive relief.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer paid its workers on a bi-weekly basis and failed to compute overtime after 40 hours in a workweek on a consistent basis. This resulted in the payment of overtime hours at the straight-time rate in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also violated the FLSA’s recordkeeping provisions.
“Many of our veterans make immeasurable sacrifices. Their service is valued whether they wear a military uniform or a security uniform, and their rights as workers must be protected,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor John Rainwater in Denver. “We will defend their rights, as we do all workers by using every tool at our disposal.”
“Federal law requires workers receive all of the wages they have earned. Our investigation found that while Texas Veteran Security prides itself by hiring veterans, the employer failed to living up to its legal obligations,” said Wage and Hour District Director Cynthia Ramos in San Antonio, Texas. “The U.S. Department of Labor will take all necessary actions, including litigation, to protect workers’ rights and hold employers accountable.”
Texas Veteran Security LLC provides armed and unarmed security guards, and private investigative services. The company also employs off-duty Texas peace officers and commissioned security officers.
For more information about 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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