A Texas employer and three of its top employees were recently convicted of felonies related to FLSA wage and hour violations.
The DOL Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced that the employer, High Performance Ropes of America, was convicted on a felony count of making false statements. The court ordered payment of pay $165,356 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages to 31 employees and assessed $12,100 in civil money penalties (for repeat and willful violations) and another fine of $10,000. The owner, plant manager and office manager were also convicted of felonies.
This severe outcome was the result of some severely bad employer actions. All told, WHD took over four years to investigate the overtime violations. The employer provided false payment evidence to WHD and demanded kickbacks from the workers while continuing to refuse to pay for overtime. A second set of time records was hidden from WHD investigators. That is when the Department of Justice got involved. The lies and the cover-up were federal crimes. The three employees were sentenced to time served with probation.
“These were egregious labor violations that resulted in the exploitation of low-wage workers,” said Cynthia Watson, WHD Southwest. “As demonstrated by the prosecution and sentencing of the defendants, we are committed to working with federal agencies, such as the Justice Department, to pursue the full force of the law against employers who engage in criminal activities.”
This is another case of bad recordkeeping, but this time the employer pushed the violations to the extreme. Employee time tracking is an essential function of running any type of business in the 21st Century. If you are not 100% confident in your attendance management, consider Infinisource's TimeForce system You may click here for a demo or quote.
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