US DOL Recovers Back Wages – Sunset Air & Home Services

US Department of Labor recovers $36K in back wages, damages after finding Fort Myers air conditioning company’s pay practices violated federal law

Sunset Air & Home Services Inc. failed to include commissions, stipends in the overtime rate

FORT MYERS, FL (STL.News) A Fort Myers heating, ventilating, and air conditioning company paid commissions and stipends to a rotation of on-call dispatchers but failed to include those payments in the workers’ rate of pay when calculating overtime in violation of federal law, the U.S. Department of Labor has determined.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that, in addition to the pay practice violation, Sunset Air & Home Services Inc. failed to maintain accurate time records for work conducted by on-call dispatchers. The employer’s pay and recordkeeping practices violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As a result, the division recovered $36,123 in back wages and liquidated damages for 23 workers.

“When employers pay commissions, differentials, certain bonuses, stipends or other incentives, they must include them in the calculation of overtime pay. We see this violation frequently. We encourage all employers and especially those who offer various types of incentive pay, to review federal requirements regarding overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa, Florida. “Additionally, those who pay workers on a piece-rate, day rate, or on commission must maintain an accurate record of hours worked. These requirements cannot be waived by employees or employers.”

SOURCE: US Department of Labor