CONCORD, N.H. — Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc. settled allegations of minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as retaliation, brought by its employees. The company will pay $437,300 in wages and damages to employees, plus a $62,700 civil penalty to the U.S. Department of Labor, under a consent judgment approved by a federal district court. The unpaid minimum wages and overtime payments to employees will equal to $213,650, and the company will also pay the same amount in liquidated damages. One employee will be paid $10,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. In addition to the monetary award, the company is also prohibited from treating employees as independent contractors without a reasonable basis for doing so. The company must also provide employees and managers with training in English, Spanish, and Portuguese on FLSA’s requirements, employees’ rights, and the terms of the consent judgment, and to hold additional training sessions at least once a year.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Violations
According to the suit brought by the Department of Labor, the company paid employees on a “piece work” basis that amounted to less than minimum wage and failed to pay overtime wages to employees working more than 40 hours per week. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a piece rate is the amount of money paid per task performed or piece produced. A piece may be used to determine commensurate wages if it includes consideration of quantity and quality of production and an allowance factor that includes personal time, fatigue, and delay. However, a proper piece rate must equal at least the minimum wage.
Additionally, overtime must be paid at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in a workweek. For employees paid on a piecework basis, regular rate of pay is obtained by dividing the total weekly earnings by the total number of hours worked in that week. The employee is entitled to an additional one-half times this regular rate for each hour over forty, plus the full piecework earnings.
Retaliation under FLSA
FLSA provides that it is a violation for employers to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to FLSA, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding. Employees are protected against retaliatory conduct by employers regardless of whether the wage complaint is made orally or in writing. Complaints made to the Department of Labor are protected, and the internal complaints to an employer are also likely protected.
In addition to its minimum wage and overtime provisions, FLSA also protects employees from retaliation for filing a wage or overtime complaint. If you or someone you know has been subjected to retaliation for filing a complaint regarding your wages, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.