Christmas Light Company not in the giving spirit, according to DOL investigation

The United States Department of Labor recently filed a lawsuit against Dallas-based Christmas Light Company, a business that performs custom-lighting work for residential and commercial clients, for allegedly underpaying 200 members of its staff, according to The Dallas Morning News.

These services have become so popular in gated communities, strip malls, homes and government buildings, that president William Rathburn says the Christmas lighting business has nearly become its own industry, the source adds. However, the company's success, which stems from its ability to get lights up quickly and cheaply around Dallas neighborhoods like Highland Park and Richardson, might have come at the expense of employees.

The lawsuit claims workers in this low-paying field did not always receive minimum wage and were not compensated for overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees that non-exempt employees receive at least $7.25 per hour and time-and-a-half that rate if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Employers who are investigated and found in violation of these basic labor rights can be fined and ordered to pay back wages to affected employees. In the case of The Christmas Light Company, the DOL is looking to recover lost wages dating as far back as January 1, 2010, the news provider explains.