As part of this scheme, the company continued to not properly pay its employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Instead of paying the required rate of time and one half for all overtime, the company routinely paid employees the regular rate for overtime hours worked. The company created the following payroll and payment procedures: For certain workweeks in which employees worked more than forty (40) hours, the company paid employees a regular hourly rate for the first forty (40) hours worked in the workweek, and paid:
The company also required employees to alter and/or rewrite time records to show only non-overtime hours worked. The company President and Treasurer instructed employees to alter and/or rewrite numerous timecards that showed overtime hours worked, and to change the number of hours recorded on the timecards and/or rewrite the timecards to show only non-overtime hours worked.
The Department of Labor returned to the company and launched another investigation and uncovered these actions and sued the employer, along with the company President, Vice-President, and the Treasurer for FLSA violations.
A company was covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires payment of overtime, minimum wage, and has payroll records-keeping requirements.
After settling a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation, the company created a scheme to no longer have smoking-gun documents that prove overtime violations in the future.
What if we cover up overtime violations?
The DOL alleged that the company and these three individuals willfully and repeatedly violated the FLSA and they were failing to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of employees’ wages, hours, and other conditions and practices of employment as prescribed by FLSA regulations. The DOL claimed that the company and its leaders intentionally paid employees improperly and then engaged in schemes to cover up their violations — including threatening workers and coercing them to provide false statements. Solis v. Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc., Kevin Corriveau, Brian Corriveau and Sharon Mercuri, Civil Action Number: 1:12-cv-356
The company owner was the subject of an obstruction of justice criminal charge against him. In December 2017 the company President pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of obstruction of justice in connection with the DOL wage and hour investigation.
In his plea, the business owner admitted that he caused an employee of his company to provide false information to investigators from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division regarding the extent of overtime hours worked by employees of the company.
The company president admitted that he himself falsely stated to DOL investigators that his employees did not work overtime.
Furthermore, the company owner admitted that he knowingly created and provided the DOL with fraudulent invoices and an altered change order that falsely stated that his employees did not work overtime on a certain project.
The company president is scheduled to be sentenced (to prison) on March 26, 2018.
The company settled the DOL by agreeing to pay nearly $500,000 to employees who were denied payment of overtime and/or minimum wage. The company agreed to a consent decree which required it to hire, for at least three years, a qualified, independent monitor who to review records, inspect working conditions and interview employees confidentially, and then report back to the DOL.
The company also was required to pay $62,700 in civil money penalties to the DOL.
The federal government was not finished yet.
This case reminds Florida employers of the serious consequences when the DOL Wage-Hour investigators show up to your business. This case reminds Florida business owners to involve competent labor & employment legal counsel as soon as possible when the DOL comes knocking. This case also demonstrates the harsh consequences that the federal government will pursue if a company attempts to fabricate payroll records.
If you need any assistance in handling overtime / minimum wage matters concerning your Florida business, please promptly email the Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. or call us at 1-772-465-5111.
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