PIERRE, S.D. — Editors Note: The original article from NBC South Dakota was published on April 16, 2015.
Ending a legal battle between the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and business owner Jan Charles Gray, all parties have agreed to a consent judgement of $8,000 and a permanent injunction in South Dakota District Court, according to NBC South Dakota.
The agreement will allow Jan Charles Gray and his business partners to avoid facing trial over allegations that his businesses withheld employee wages and failed to adequately compensate employees for overtime work.
The court injunction will not only require Gray to compensate employees for their withheld wages but to comply with all Fair Label Standards Act (FLSA) policies in the future.
Additionally, Gray’s businesses will also be required to train all employees about the rights entitled to them under FLSA, pay wages that fall within state and federal guidelines, maintain legitimate records, and refrain from retaliating against employees who come forward with information to assist with any DOL investigations.
As of the articles original posting, employees of Gray’s business ventures including the Custer Motel, the All-American Inn, and the American President Resorts have been compensated for their previously withheld wages.
State Attorney for the District of South Dakota Ranolph J. Seiler offered the following statement, “The former employees involved in this investigation are getting the long overdue minimum wage and overtime pay to which they are entitled, the USAO is dedicated to taking appropriate enforcement actions with respect to any violations of the FLSA.”
South Dakota Labor And Wage Regulations
Pierre is one of the 10 largest cities on South Dakota, making it one of the states main employment hubs in addition to serving as the state capital. Although the population is regularly reported to be below 15,000 permanent residents, the nature of a state capital allows the city to offer a greater economic impact than its population figures may suggest.
Additionally, with plentiful land and growing industries, South Dakota has been frequently cited as one of the country’s most rapidly developing economies. This means it is vital that employees stay vigilant for employers potentially using violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to exploit the potential economic boom.
The state minimum wage is currently set at $8.55 per hour with a majority of other labor policies being covered by FLSA. Under FLSA, if a non-exempt worker exceeds 40 work hours in a standard 7-day week, they must be compensated with 150% of their standard wage for all hours of overtime.
For example, a worker making the state minimum wage must make at least $12.83 per hour for all hours above 40 hours. If an employee has not been receiving an adequate overtime wage or has been misclassified to be ineligible for an overtime wage, they have the right to pursue legal action to receive compensation for all withheld wages.
Employers often manipulate time-sheets or duty definitions to avoid the heightened costs that come with paying a qualified overtime wage employee.
If you believe that a current or past employer engaged in deceptive overtime pay or standard wage practices, contact an attorney today to begin the lawsuit filing process. Credible lawsuits have a high success rate against FLSA violators and one can allow you to receive your due compensation, call today (855) 754-2795.