JACKSON, MS – While some employers’ misunderstanding of federal wage and hour laws may lead to violations, there are others whose actions show they intended to shortchange workers deliberately and, by doing so, gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors.
A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found CCSI Inc. – a Jackson security and patrol service – violated minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping laws. The willful nature of the violations led the division to expand the investigation to include the past three years instead of the usual two-year timeframe.
The investigation of CSSI Inc. found the employer:
Disregarded minimum wage laws by docking workers’ pay to cover the employer’s expenses for uniforms.
Paid some security guards hourly rates for their first 40 hours of work each week, and continued to pay for any overtime hours at workers’ straight-time rates, disguising such payment as “mileage reimbursement” in the payroll records.
Failed to record hours employees worked to cover weekend events, paying for those hours separately, in cash, at straight-time rates.
To resolve the Fair Labor Standards Act violations, CSSI Inc., paid $68,603 in back wages to 34 employees, and the division assessed the employer an $11,645 civil penalty.
“Some employers attempt to gain financially by shortchanging employees and dodging wage laws” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “The U.S. Department of Labor will hold employers who ignore the law fully accountable. These employees deserve to be paid all the wages they have legally earned, and we remain committed to ensuring that happens.”
The division protects workers regardless of immigration status, and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.