U.S. Department of Labor issued the following announcement on Dec. 23.
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Apex Pipeline Service Inc. has entered into a consent judgment with the Department requiring payment of $121,019 in back wages, with an equal amount in liquidated damages, to 243 employees at its Nitro, West Virginia, facility. The consent judgment was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia-Charleston Division.
WHD investigators found that - from April 2016 to March 2018 - Apex Pipeline Service Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). WHD determined that the employer misclassified field office managers and safety coordinators as exempt from overtime, and subsequently failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week. Apex Pipeline Services Inc. provides construction services to the oil and gas industry.
WHD also found the employer made per-diem payments to union employees based on their craft performed, regardless of the employees’ travel status or the distance from home to worksite. The employer also paid non-union employees per diem based on the employer’s own established rates. When an employer does not make payments to workers for legitimate travel, the law requires the employer to include those amounts in the employees’ regular rates when determining overtime payment. In neither case did the employer do so, resulting in payment of overtime at rates below those required by law. The employer also failed to maintain required records and to post a current FLSA poster.
“Our work continues to ensure that employees are paid the wages they have legally earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field,” said Wage and Hour District Director John DuMont in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to holding employers accountable when they fail to meet their responsibilities. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for compliance assistance.”
Original source can be found here.