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The employer also was required to hold a meeting with all employees when the DOL investigators “will be present” and during which time the employer’s owners “will tell all employees that all employees will receive time and a half for all hours worked over forty in a workweek. They will also tell all employees that they have the right to talk to Wage Hour, including if they believe they are not being paid properly, and that [the employer] will take no action to deter them or retaliate if they do so. They will also tell all employees that they will keep proper time records of hours worked.”

The District Court also ordered as part of the settlement that the  resolution of this proceeding will not prevent any other employees from suing the employer under the FLSA.

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The DOL and the employer’s owners reached an agreement, and filed a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court in which the restaurant and its owners agreed to pay $50,000 in overtime due to workers and an equal amount in damages, totaling $100,000 for the employees. The owners also agreed to implement a mechanized time clock system that shows all hours worked by employees on their time cards, including the computation of all hours worked in a day and any overtime hours.

Furthermore, “to help ensure that all of [the employer’s] employees are aware of their rights under the FLSA,” the employer was forced to agree to the following:

  1. For a period of 18 months the employer was required to post in prominent locations at the employer’s current facilities a Notice which specifically stated:
    • To resolve a lawsuit brought by the Department of Labor, the United States District Court entered an Order forbidding [the employer and its owners] from violating the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  2. The Notice even went so far as to state: “All employees who work in this establishment can help the employer not to violate the Court’s Order.” 
  3. In bold print the Notice told employees that if they think they are not being paid in accordance with the law, they should call the DOL and it provided a phone number and told employees that their names will be kept confidential.
  4. The employer was also required to provide a copy of this Notice with the employees’ paycheck to all current employees!
  5. Furthermore, for the next 18 months the employer was required to provide a copy of the Notice to all newly hired employees!

Employers who violate the minimum wage/overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) can be subjected to a lawsuit by a lawyer or could be investigated by the U. S Department of Labor (“DOL”).  In July 2017 the DOL announced how a recent FLSA investigation was settled with the DOL.

 In that case, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division investigators found that the employer’s owners violated the FLSA by failing to pay employees time-and-a-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. The employer also failed to make, keep and preserve accurate records of the wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment.

How lopsided is a DOL settlement for FLSA violations?