WEST COVINA, CA – An Ontario logistics provider of warehousing and distribution services for the home fashion and apparel industry told workers to record only 8 hours of labor each day regardless of how many hours they actually worked – a finding of the U.S. Department of Labor affirmed by a federal court in California recently.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Eastern Division, has ordered Global One Logistics to pay a total of $120,000 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages to 388 employees, and an additional $2,000 penalty assessed by the department’s Wage and Hour Division to address the employer’s willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Investigators found the employer willfully failed to pay employees overtime at time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours per week. In addition to requiring employees to falsify the number of hours they worked each day, the employer also paid for the unrecorded hours in cash, at workers’ straight-time rates.
“Employers who purposefully manipulate payroll records in an attempt to avoid their legal obligations will be held accountable by the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Rafael Valles in West Covina, California. “Shortchanging employees hurts workers and their families, and gives employers who cheat an unfair competitive advantage over employers who abide by the law. The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law, and as a reminder to workers that they have the right to be paid for all of the hours that they work.”
In addition to paying back wages and damages, the court ordered Global One Logistics to implement a reliable timekeeping system that allows each employee to record his or her daily start and stop times accurately. The order also instructed the employer to not alter or manipulate time or payroll records to reduce the number of hours actually worked and not to encourage or pressure workers to under report hours worked.
The Wage and Hour 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.