$60,911 In Back Wages for FLSA Violations by Frederick, Oklahoma

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The city of Frederick has agreed to pay 29 current and former employees $60,911 following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. The city is subject to the FLSA as a public agency employer.

“State and local government employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees are properly classified and compensated for all hours worked, in compliance with the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “We are pleased that this investigation has resulted in the city of Frederick paying its employees the hard-earned wages they deserve.”

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records. Under certain FLSA-prescribed conditions, employees of state or local government agencies may receive compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked, instead of cash overtime pay.

Investigations by the Wage and Hour Division’s Oklahoma City District Office found that the employees – including police officers as well as water, sewer and electrical workers – had been improperly classified as exempt from the FLSA, and consequently denied overtime compensation. Investigators found that some employees were required to work long hours (for example, police officers who often worked more than 85 hours in a workweek) but paid “straight time” cash wages or given compensatory time off at straight time rates. The city also failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours, in violation of the act’s record-keeping provisions.

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