Red Oak Tree Service to Pay $963K in Back Wages

Red Oak Tree Service to Pay $963K in Back Wages

US Department of Labor recovers over $963K in back wages and liquidated damages from Red Oak Tree Service in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL (STL.News) The US Department of Labor (DOL) released the following information regarding an investigation into Red Oak Tree Service in Crystal Lake, IL.

Employers: Red Oak Tree Service Inc., Crystal Lake, Illinois – Humberto Gonzalez, owner

Action: US Department of Labor complaint filing

Court: US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division (Rockford)

Court action: The department filed a complaint on March 21, 2024, after the Wage and Hour Division investigated and found that the employer violated the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime provisions.

Investigators found the Crystal Lake tree removal and landscaping business and its owner, Humberto Gonzalez, paid the affected employees straight time in cash for their overtime work from at least November 1, 2020, to October 30, 2022.  Workers should have received time and one-half their hourly rate for hours over 40 in a workweek.  Investigators found $963,854 — representing $481,927 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages — are due to 29 employees of Red Oak Tree Service Inc.

Quote: “Workers must be paid time and one-half their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek unless they meet very specific criteria.  Not paying them earned overtime takes money out of their pockets of workers, harming employees and their communities because workers have less to spend,” said Wage and Hour District Director Tom Gauza in Chicago.  “Employers are legally responsible for knowing and complying with federal wage laws.”



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