Housing Authority to Pay $425,000 in Overtime Back Wages for Violating Wage and Hour Provisions

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority has agreed to pay $425,000 in overtime back wages found due to 77 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Investigators found the Las Vegas-based state agency in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority is regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and provides affordable and subsidized housing to low and moderate-income families.

Investigators established that the employer failed to record and pay for hours worked preshift, post-shift and during meal breaks, and to pay hourly employees time and one-half for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. The Housing Authority also unlawfully considered some salaried employees as exempt from overtime, though these employees did not meet the criteria for exemption. These employees are due additional pay for overtime as well. In addition to the payment of $425,000 in overtime back wages, the agency has signed an agreement with the department and has taken a number of steps to comply with Wage and Hour laws, including establishing new timekeeping procedures, and advising all employees of the areas of noncompliance found during the investigation. The agreement also includes provisions for providing management and nonmanagement staff with training sessions on the requirements and provisions of the FLSA.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. Exempt employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and must be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. For an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the regulations.

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