An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s Atlanta District Office, investigators found that Southern Sanitation violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“This case is another example of a recycling company paying a flat day rate to drivers and failing to pay employees the overtime pay that they have legally earned,” said Eric Williams, the Wage and Hour Division’s district director in Atlanta. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to educating employers about their legal responsibilities while also investigating those companies that employ practices that cheat workers out of their proper compensation and that undercut their competitors.”
Investigators found the waste management company failed to pay overtime to 32 employees. The employer paid truck drivers and helpers a fixed rate per day, without regard to how many hours they worked. By doing so, Southern Sanitation caused overtime violations when the employees worked more than 40 hours in a work week and the employer failed to pay the required time-and-one-half their regular rate of pay. Additional overtime violations occurred when the employer made deductions illegally for time spent in short rest breaks—which are compensable—and when deductions from pay were made for meal breaks that employees did not take. The employer also failed to maintain required time and payroll records.
Southern Sanitation will comply with the FLSA and pay 32 employees a total of $37,933 in back wages.