SOMERSET, NJ – For many landscaping industry workers, long days and hard work are the norm. For 12 workers of a Somerset landscaping contractor that failed to pay overtime when workweeks exceeded 40 hours, getting all of their hard-earned wages was almost as strenuous.
A recent U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation has recovered $66,742 in back wages for the 12 employees owed to them by A.W. Contracting Inc. The division found that the employer failed to pay the workers required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the employer paid workers for their first 40 hours each week in a payroll check, and paid overtime hours in cash, at less than their straight-time rates.
A.W. Contracting also failed to maintain required records of the actual number of hours employees worked. Both the pay and recordkeeping practices violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Landscaping workers are among the most vulnerable in the workforce,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Charlene Rachor, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring workers receive all the wages they have rightfully earned, and to ensuring that employers do not gain an unfair competitive advantage by ignoring their legal obligations.”
A.W. Contracting Inc. does hardscaping, fertilization and cleanup work at residential and commercial properties throughout Middlesex County.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).