A Las Vegas drywall and paint company will have to pay $133,007 in back wages to 233 employees after violating overtime requirements laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Royal West Drywall had been paying workers at a piece rate — paying for the amount of product they installed and disregarding the hours they worked.
According to a Friday press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, this resulted in violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek and were not paid overtime. The department also determined the company failed to record and maintain accurate payroll and time records.
Gaspar Montanez, the department’s wage and hour district director in Las Vegas, said employers are responsible for ensuring piece-rate employees receive all the wages they have legally earned, including overtime.
“Investigations like this ensure that employees get paid and that employers compete on a level playing field. Other employers in this industry should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to examine their own pay practices, and to ensure that they comply with the law,” Montanez said in the release.
According to a 2017 report from the Economic Policy Institute that looked at the 10 most populous U.S. states, workers suffering minimum wage violations are underpaid $64 per week on average. That’s nearly one-quarter of their weekly earnings.
In all, the report said more than $15 billion in wages are lost annually to minimum wage violations in the U.S.