August 24, 2018 | Uncategorized
Violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for 461 summer camp employees is going to cost a Miami prep school almost $700,000 according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). (DOL News Release 18-1191-ATL)
After an investigation, the school will pay $635,269 to the camp counselors and was also assessed $47,578 in civil money penalties for violations of the child labor requirements of the FLSA.
The school incorrectly classified summer camp counselors as exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements, according to the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL. Instead, no matter how many hours they worked, the counselors were paid a flat weekly salary. Overtime provisions of the law were violated when the counselors worked more than 40 hours in a week.
The summer counselors were also required to attend 16 hours of unpaid training before camp started—a violation of the FLSA minimum wage provisions.
Plus, investigators determined that FLSA’s child labor requirements were violated by the school when it employed 97 counselors who were 14 and 15 years old and had them work more than 40 hours a week. The FLSA caps work time for these minors at 40 hours a week when school is not in session.
The summer camp counselors did not clock in or out for work or lunch breaks and were also required to attend an additional 30-to-45-minute weekly meeting which wasn’t reflected in time records. This failure to maintain accurate time records resulted in FLSA recordkeeping violations.
WHD Miami District Directory Tony Pham said that the agency appreciated “this employer’s cooperation in working with us to correct these violations and come into compliance.”
The WHD is operating a nationwide pilot program to facilitate the resolution of potential overtime and minimum wage violations under the FLSA. Employers who discover FLSA overtime or minimum wage violations can self-report and resolve the issues without litigation through the DOL’s Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. The DOL says the PAID program’s primary objectives are
- To resolve such claims expeditiously and without litigation,
- To improve employers’ compliance with overtime and minimum wage obligations, and
- To ensure that more employees receive the back wages they are owed faster.
Under this program, “employers are encouraged to conduct audits and, if they discover overtime or minimum wage violations, to self-report those violations,” states the DOL. Employers can then work with the WHD to correct their mistakes and to quickly provide the overdue wages to the employees affected.
The PAID program was launched earlier this year. Reach out to your HR advisor or employment attorney to see if participation in this program makes sense for you.