The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $374,493 wages and liquidated damages for 62 construction workers employed by a Cleveland contractor that denied them overtime wages when required by federal law, and jeopardized the safety of an 11-year-old by employing them as a groundskeeper allowed to operate dangerous equipment.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigators found the pay practices of Tom Willumson LLC – operating as Concept Construction – violated the Fair Labor Standards Act as follows:
- Failing to provide one worker their final paycheck, resulting in a minimum wage violation
- Incorrectly classifying some workers as independent contractors and paying them straight-time for all hours worked. By doing so, the employer did not pay the additional half-time rate for hours over 40 in a workweek, an overtime violation
- Paying some workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, then providing them bonuses to make up the difference between the minimum wage and a previously agreed-upon rate of pay. This practice led to the employer’s failure to pay the required overtime rate to workers.
In addition to the wage violations, investigators learned Concept Construction employed an 11-year-old as a groundskeeper, who was allowed to operate a farm-style tractor and weed-eating equipment, as well as work more than 8 hours in a day, all in violation of FLSA child laborprovisions. As a result of their investigation, the division assessed a $14,944 civil money penalty to the employer for the child labor violations.
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