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Meat Packing Workers Receive Nearly $164K in Overtime Back Pay after FLSA Violations

March 22, 2012

According to news from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), a meat processing company in Arizona has agreed to pay nearly $164,000 in back wages and overtime compensation to 1,209 former and current Oklahoma workers, after the DOL's Wage and Hour Division found the company responsible for violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).

The DOL reports that Bar-S foods, the producer, marketer and distributor of processed meat products in the U.S., gave former and current meat packers, quality control employees and factory workers an annual production bonus, but failed to include the net effect of the bonus on each employee's overall hourly pay rates when totaling overtime hours. When the employees were interviewed by the DOL and the payroll records were reviewed, the department determined that $163,996 was owed by the company in back wages to the workers.

Vincent Howard frequently discusses wage and hour violations in the workplace, and the rights that every employee has under the FLSA--which mandates that every employee covered by the act makes the hourly federal minimum wage rate ($7.25) for every hour worked, plus one and one-half times their regular pay rate in overtime compensation for any time worked over forty hours in a workweek. This payment includes bonuses, incentive compensation, as well as commissions.

According to the FLSA, an employer has no obligation to provide bonuses to employees, but if a nondiscretionary bonus is provided, the bonus must be counted as part of the employees' regular hourly pay rate for the purpose of totaling overtime payment.

The DOL continues to fight for the wage and hour rights of workers across the country, in order to ensure that employees receive the pay that they are entitled to, that employers are held accountable when they fail to properly compensate employees. The DOL is committed to reminding employers to conduct regular self-audits of payroll systems to make sure that they are in total compliance with federal labor laws.

In a related Carson employment lawyers blog, Vincent Howard reported on another recent DOL lawsuit settlement, where another major meat supplier, Tyson Fresh Meats, settled allegations of sexual discrimination in the workplace, and paid $2.25 million in back wages, benefits and interest to around 1,650 female job applicants, who were reportedly denied employment based on their gender.

For a complimentary consultation about your Orange County, California labor and employment issue, contact attorney Vincent Howard, at Howard Law, PC today.

Arizona-based meat processing company pays nearly $164,000 in overtime back wages to workers in Oklahoma following US Labor Department investigation, The U.S. Department of Labor, March 21, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

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Restaurant Pays $83K in Back Wages for Overtime, Minimum Wage Violations of FLSA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 17, 2011

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

Another DOL Investigation Brings Restaurant Employees $275K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011

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