Heavy equipment operators often work long hard days outdoors to meet deadlines and complete projects on schedule. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division exists to ensure that their employers pay them the wages they have legally earned, and takes action when they do not.
A recent investigation found UMS Heavy Equipment Rental Inc. in Chalan Pago failed to pay dump truck drivers and operators of other heavy equipment legally required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
The division also determined the company failed to pay operators for time they spent working before and after their scheduled shifts, including necessary time spent inspecting and preparing their trucks prior to leaving the UMS yard, traveling to the job sites and traveling back to the yard.
When the employer did record and pay for overtime hours, they paid for them in cash at workers’ straight-time rates. The FLSA requires payment at one and one-half times workers’ regular rates of pay for hours they work beyond 40 in a workweek.
The investigation led the division to recover $17,308 in back wages for 20 employees. The division also assessed $7,250 in civil penalties due to the willful nature of the violations.
“These workers deserve to be paid all the wages they have legally earned, including overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Employers must comply with the overtime pay and recordkeeping requirements detailed in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to enforce the law so all employers play by the same rules. We encourage employers to contact us confidentially with any questions they may have about their responsibilities, and to take appropriate actions to avoid costly compliance errors.”
Following the investigation, UMS Heavy Equipment Rental acknowledged the violations, changed their pay practices, and signed a written compliance action plan assuring future compliance with labor laws.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
(US Department of Labor Release)