$277,565 in Back Wages for Overtime and Record-Keeping Violations by Janitorial Service Subcontractor

 
Thursday, April 3, 2014
 

Empire Janitorial Sales and Services Inc. has paid $277,565 in overtime back wages to 233 current and former janitorial service workers employed by Acadian Payroll Services LLC after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions.

The investigation, conducted by the division’s New Orleans District Office, found that employees were wrongfully classified as independent contractors and paid an hourly wage with no overtime wages of time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additionally, Acadian Payroll Services did not establish a seven-day workweek and failed to maintain proper records of weekly hours worked by its employees. Empire Janitorial Sales and Services and Acadian Payroll Services shared joint employer responsibilities. Both companies agreed to future compliance with the FLSA; however, full payment of back wages was made by Metairie-based Empire Janitorial Sales and Services, which cooperated with the investigation.

The department and the Internal Revenue Service, through an interagency memorandum of understanding, are working together and sharing general information to reduce the incidence of misclassification of employees, reduce the tax gap and improving compliance with federal labor laws.

Memorandums of understanding with the IRS and state government agencies arose as part of the department’s Misclassification Initiative, with the goal of preventing, detecting and remedying employee misclassification. In addition, under the terms of the information-sharing agreement, the department may share specific case information with the IRS. This case is typical of those the department may refer to the IRS. 

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 also must maintain accurate time and payroll records. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees. 

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