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Georgia Gas Station Agrees to Pay Back Overtime to Dozens of Employees

ATLANTA, GA — A group of Georgia gas stations and check cashing businesses recently agreed to a settlement with the Department of Labor to resolve claims that the company shuffled workers between the two business entities to avoid paying overtime and skirt other federal wage and labor laws. As part of the settlement, Shifa Food & Gas LLC, which does business as Big EZ Chevron/Rainforest Chevron, and M&M Check Cashing LLC will compensate 39 current and former employees a total of $88,712 in back pay and damages as compensation for the wage theft scheme.

According to an investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, the defendants shared employees between the gas stations and check cashing businesses located inside the gas stations. The complaint alleged the workers performed duties for each entity, despite the two businesses having different owners. Furthermore, the defendants allegedly hired their workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees.

“The resolution of this case puts these wages into the hands of workers who rightfully earned them,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Williams, in Atlanta. “We urge companies to reach out to the Wage and Hour Division for information they need to comply with the law.”

Investigators found the defendants violated several statutes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including failure to pay minimum wage, overtime, and keep accurate payroll records of hours worked and wages earned by employees. Additionally, the defendants allegedly made illegal deductions from employee paychecks for minor offences like incorrectly stocking shelves or accepting bad checks from customers.

In addition to paying back workers for their unpaid wages and illegal deductions, all defendants agreed to comply fully with provisions of the FLSA and implement new time keeping and records systems to ensure future wage theft does not take place. Under the new record keeping system, overtime will automatically be calculated and help ensure all workers get paid for their hard work on the job.

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