Compliance

Labor Department fines, penalizes contractor $100K for falsified overtime records

By Rick Bell

Mar. 23, 2021

Recent wage and hour violations by a New Hampshire contractor is a signal to other employers that they should review their workforce management policies and overtime records for compliance with federal, state and local labor laws.

Facades Inc., a commercial exterior surfaces applicator-installer in Hampstead, New Hampshire, falsified pay records to cover up its failure to pay employees the required overtime wages they earned, according to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $87,360 in back wages owed to 28 Facades Inc. employees. It also assessed a civil money penalty of $19,516 to address the willful nature of the violations, which included the employer’s falsification of payroll records, according to a DOL press release.

Check your workforce management policies

Small business owners have numerous priorities, and accurately managing payroll and time and attendance policies should always remain at the top, as the Facades case shows. Effectively tracking employee hours with an automated workforce management solution will clean up compensation and support compliance practices.

Investigators found Facades Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it paid straight time for overtime hours worked by employees and concealed those payments as “reimbursements” in payroll registers. Rather than recording and paying for overtime hours at time-and-one-half workers’ regular rates of pay, the employer recorded only up to 40 hours in their records and masked their straight time payment for any additional hours, the release stated.

“Workers deserve to get paid all the wages they have earned, and our enforcement of the law ensures that happens,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin in Manchester, New Hampshire. “In this case, the employer attempted to conceal illegal straight-time-for-overtime payments. In addition to being held accountable for back pay, the employer paid a significant civil money penalty. Other employers should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to review their own pay practices to avoid violations like those found in this case.”

Automate your processes to avoid penalties

Employees deserve their paychecks on time and to be accurately compensated for the time they spend working. Automated payroll practices help eliminate delays, improve compliance and minimize costly errors.

With employment contracts, timesheets, benefits and labor laws, there are a lot of factors involved in payroll that can result in miscalculations. Workforce.com’s payroll integration solution connects with more than 50 payroll systems to ease compliance and enhance efficiency. 

Ask for a demo of Workforce.com’s powerful time and attendance platform today and see how to make workplace compliance effortless and effective.

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. For comments or questions email editors@workforce.com.

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