Lest you think that a change in administration from Obama to Trump has softened the government’s stance on wage violations, let me give you some new release headlines to make you think differently.
From the News Releases page on the DOL website:
Chicago Restaurant to Pay $339,418 in Back Wages and Damages Following U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
Georgia Gas Station and Check-Cashing Businesses Pay $88,712 in Back Wages to 39 Employees after U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
U.S. Department of Labor Fines US Environmental Inc. for Safety Violations and Proposes Penalties Totaling $333,756
Tennessee Restaurant Ordered to Pay $751,682 in Back Wages And Liquidated Damages to 45 Employees
Georgia Furniture Installer to Pay Employees $194,069 in Back Wages Following a U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
Philadelphia Restaurants to Pay Employees Nearly $830,000 To Resolve Federal Wage Violations
Pizza Restaurants and Owner to Pay Employees $53,000 for Wage Violations, and $14,000 to Former Employee Who Refused to Make False Statements
Akron Restaurant Pays $118,000 to 21 Employees As a Result of Agreement with U.S. Department of Labor
Packaging Company Pays $420,000 to 205 Employees In Settlement Agreement with U.S. Department of Labor
Chattanooga Company Agrees to Pay Back Wages and Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime and Other FLSA Violations
These violations covered mostly overtime and back wages violations. They did include some misclassification of employees as independent contractors. It did not cover a $15 million settlement on retirement plan mistakes.
The total for these 10 situations, that were announced in the last month amounted to nearly $3.5 million. These were generally smaller companies. That is a lot of money. Some of these “mistakes” were truly that, but others were purposeful.
Today it does not pay to cheat your employees. Just because the DOL is under a Republican administration does not mean they are going to go easy on investigating wrong-doing that cheats employees from hard-earned wages.