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Utah Business Ordered to Pay Employees $600k for Overtime Violations

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A Utah tile company must pay over $600k to employees for violating overtime rules.

Salt Lake City, UTA tile company has been ordered to pay its employees over $600K in back wages after an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

C&E Stone Masonry paid its 127 employees straight time for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek when the overtime premium was required, reported the local News Station KJZZ. The tile installation company was also cited for failing to maintain records of employees’ hours worked each work day and total hours worked each workweek.

Piece Work

Piece-rate pay is defined as: “Work paid for according to the number of units turned out.” According to SHRM, calculating the regular rate of pay for piece-rate workers can be complicated because workers are paid based on the units they produce rather than the hours they work.

Under the FLSA, when employees are paid on a piece-rate basis, the employer may calculate the regular rate by adding all earnings for the week (such as the piece rate, production bonuses and any waiting-time pay) and dividing the total by the number of hours worked in the week, including productive and nonproductive time and overtime hours. Workers are entitled to overtime, i.e., an additional one-half of the regular rate for each hour worked in excess of 40 during the workweek.

No Excuse

The tile company’s excuse was that it believed employees paid by piece work aren’t entitled to overtime pay. But the DOL didn’t buy that line. “Ignorance of the law is not a defense, especially when vulnerable workers are denied the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Kevin Hunt, Wage and Hour Division district director in Salt Lake City. “Employers must be informed about labor laws and must ensure that workers and their families who depend on their earnings and benefits are not harmed. Employers may contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions about their obligations or worker’s rights.”

The Wage and Hour Division enforces laws governing pay practices and other labor standards, and determines if employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors and denied them critical benefits and worker protections. Last year, it identified over $36 million in back wages owed to about 21,000 construction industry workers. In its investigations, the division commonly finds violations related to employers failing to pay overtime when required, misclassifying workers as independent contractors and not paying them for time spent on work-related travel, or pre- and post-shift work.


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