A Georgia Goodwill corporation had to pay back wages over $100,000 for violating federal laws to 165 employees.
After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire Inc. – based in Savannah, Georgia – has paid $114,936 in back wages to 165 employees for violating provisions of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found the thrift store chain failed to pay the required prevailing wage rates to janitorial employees working on three government contracts. The failure was a result of managers altering employees’ time records to reduce the number of hours they had worked and deducting time for short-duration breaks, which the law requires be paid as work time. The employer also deducted time for other breaks employees did not take and moved overtime hours worked from weeks where employees worked more than 40 hours per workweek, to weeks where they worked fewer than 40, resulting in a failure to pay proper overtime.
WHD also determined that because the employer deducted time from employees with disabilities– failing to pay for all the hours that they worked – the resulting pay fell below their legally required commensurate wages under section 14(c) of the FLSA. In addition, the employer failed to pay for vacation time, as required by the SCA.
“Employers are responsible for paying their employees all the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Williams, in Atlanta. “The Department’s Wage and Hour Division offers a wide variety of tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and avoid violations.”
The 165 employees affected worked at the U.S. Army’s Mission Installation Contracting Command on Fort Stewart, Georgia; the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glyco, Georgia; and the Juliette Gordon Low Complex, the Tomochichi Federal Courthouse, and the U.S. Customs House in Savannah, Georgia.
For more information about the SCA, CWHSSA, 14(c), FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.