- New Jersey-based gas station operator Point Pleasant Associates will pay $226,298 in back wages and damages as part of a consent judgment — plus $3,702 in civil money penalties — to six workers after allegedly failing to pay the federal minimum wage or overtime.
- A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found the employer not only violated minimum wage and overtime laws, but directed employees to sign false statements submitted to the agency that denied the unlawful payment practices, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, DOL said.
- “Our investigations show that the pay practices of New Jersey’s gas station industry employers all too commonly shortchange workers and violate federal law,” Wage and Hour Division district director Charlene Rachor said in DOL’s release. “This judgment secures hard-earned wages for gas station workers who labor long hours mostly outdoors trying to support themselves and their families.”
DOL has had a busy year, setting its sights on heavy enforcement of wage and hour law and targeting low-wage industries, like food service, retail and home healthcare.
WHD noted its prioritization of vulnerable workers in its 2023 budget request. “The FY 2023 request will support efforts focused on addressing barriers faced by underserved communities, including developing stakeholder partnerships and worker-focused resources to reach those communities,” DOL wrote in its request. “WHD will further strengthen national initiatives focused on protecting essential workers, including care workers, warehouse and logistics workers, farm laborers, restaurant workers, residential construction workers, and the range of workers providing support services to building operations.”
Employers often try to cut corners, whether they intend to flout the law or not, when cutting paychecks, sources say. An employment law attorney recently explained to HR Dive how casual treatment of wage and hour laws can come back to haunt employers.
In May, a former DOL wage and hour administrator and current employment lawyer spoke to HR Dive about how employers can navigate timekeeping compliantly — including by educating supervisors, installing more time clocks and avoiding rounding or automatic deduction processes.