I have been in HR for a long time and I have seen many errors. Every company I worked for, however, knew that nonexempt workers were owed overtime at the rate of time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours in the week. As a result, I usually chalk up incorrect payment of wages to mistakes and not purposefully cheating employees. Every once in a while, I do find a case where it looks like the employer is being underhanded.
The case in point
According to the DOL, an auto body shop in New York has agreed to pay $185,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 49 employees, plus $30,000 in civil penalties. They were found to not have been paying their employees overtime for hours worked over 40 hours. That could have been just a mistake, but I am suspicious because they were paying the employees straight-time for the hours worked, not in their paycheck, but in cash. They were also cited for recordkeeping violations for not recording the proper time as an attempt to hide the actual amount of time worked.
Additionally, the company was prohibited from trying to recoup the money the paid in overtime wages by soliciting the employees to repay those wages to the employer. Who does that? You agree that you have denied employees overtime, you hide time records, you did not pay for time worked during meals, and then you have the audacity to ask for the money back?
It makes you wonder what they did to their customers. Was cheating customers fair game, in addition to cheating your employees? Personally, I would be checking over my repair bill.