LOUISVILLE, KY – The U.S. Department of Labor recovered $130,879 in back wages and liquidated damages for 68 workers after a Beattyville-based food services contractor failed to pay their full wages by incorrectly applying overtime rules for managers.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Kellwell Food Management Inc. failed to pay managers the minimum salary required, $684 per week, to waive overtime pay requirements. Since the employer failed to meet this requirement, they owed the employees the additional half-time overtime rate for all hours over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer’s actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Simply paying a salary or a daily rate of wages does not waive an employer’s legal obligation to pay overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky. “If the minimum salary requirement is not met or if employee’s insufficient management duties fail to meet the legal requirements for waiving overtime, then they are entitled to overtime pay.”

“Employers should review their pay practices and overtime rules to avoid similar compliance issues and contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions,” Garnett-Civils added.

Founded in 1992, Kellwell Food Management Inc. provides food, laundry services and commissary services at correctional facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions or concerns – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

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