According to a statement from the US Department of Labor (DOL 1/11/13), Premier Insurance Services sells a variety of insurance policies and products. An investigation determined that Premier sales agents were paid strictly on commission with no “draw” or base pay. According to the statement, not only did the affected employee’s wages fall below the minimum wage, Premier was also found to have violated overtime laws by not paying their employees extra pay for extra work beyond the standard 40-hour work week.
According to the unpaid overtime investigation, about 90 employees at 13 Premier locations throughout the state will be in line for back wages. Of the nearly $120,000 Premier has agreed to pay to settle the issue, $33,000 will represent various civil penalties associated with the indiscretion.
“Paying employees on a commission-only basis does not give employers a green light to dodge minimum wage and overtime pay requirements,” said Priscilla Green, director of the Labor Department’s West Covina office, in the statement.
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Premier Insurance Services is based in Colton, and was mandated by the US Department of Labor to sign an agreement requiring the firm to implement a proper timekeeping system to facilitate the documentation of employee hours.
Of note is an overtime pay laws case from 2012 that found Speedlane Insurance Services, of Upland, to have committed similar overtime pay and wage-and-hour indiscretions. Speedlane was mandated by the US Department of Labor to repay about $200,000 in back wages to 96 employees. The statement by the DOL revealed that Speedlane is owned and operated by a close relative of Hakim Kabir, identified in the California overtime law statement as the owner of Premier Insurance Services.