Subway and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of NY are among the employers that voluntarily reported wage and hour violations during the early months of a U.S. Department of Labor program, according to documents obtained by HR Dive Sept. 4.
Additionally, Illinois-based Heartland Regional Medical Center paid more than half a million dollars in back wages to nearly 3,000 through participation in the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, the highest such amount among the 74 employers who took part in the program between its launch in April 2018 and Sept. 15, 2019.
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of NY paid more than $176,000 in back wages to 99 employees through the program, and Subway — an entity which DOL didn't define further — paid more than $21,000 in back wages to 32 employees. Heartland Regional Medical Center, Pepsi and Subway did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
|HEARTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER D/B/A||$746,445.55||2,999|
|WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY TRANSIT SYSTEM||$482,191.89||48|
|RETREAT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC.||$433,220.89||157|
|HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC.||$362,826.31||94|
|ABSOLUTE HOME HEALTH CARE, INC.||$324,146.58||140|
|DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT||$226,613.77||2,282|
|PEPSI-COLA BOTTLING COMPANY OF NY INC||$176,312.90||99|
|HUMAN LONGEVITY INC.||$115,746.59||15|
|C & J EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING||$110,538.50||69|
|CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT||$92,515.65||22|
|ACE PIPELINE, INC.||$70,985.33||158|
|HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE||$64,886.76||28|
|PODIATRY ASSOCIATES P.A.||$57,390.03||107|
|AMIGOS TORTILLA BAR||$54,531.26||23|
|INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP FIRE DEPARTMENT||$49,146.08||58|
|SOUTHERNMOST BEACH RESORT||$44,519.56||53|
|FURY WATER ADVENTURES||$43,787.36||22|
|APPALACHIAN PIPELINE CONTRACTORS, LLP||$29,698.22||92|
|B-A PRODUCTS CO.||$28,635.62||20|
|SLOAN LUBRUICATION SYSTEMS||$25,124.30||15|
|CITY OF PAMPA- FIRE DEPARTMENT||$24,878.76||27|
|ACTIVE TREATMENT, INC.||$24,150.65||17|
|ROCKY MCELHANEY LAW FIRM, PC||$20,738.57||15|
|STORCH RADON SERVICES||$20,037.29||8|
|HUEYTOWN VETERINARY CLINIC||$17,440.15||54|
|CHATTANOOGA DRIVELINE SERVICE||$15,271.07||6|
|QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND WELLNESS INSTITUTE||$15,069.03||25|
|CLEAR LAKE CITY WATER AUTHORITY||$13,630.79||11|
|MUSEUM WALK APARTMENTS||$13,085.65||57|
|TOWN OF RANGELEY||$10,901.61||12|
|WILCOX TRAVEL PLAZA||$10,898.91||18|
|CARING HEARTS PROFESSIONAL HEALTH SERVICES||$8,613.81||6|
|BARRIER TECHNOLOGIES LLC||$7,315.72||19|
|ISLAND PHARMACY AND MEDICAL SUPPLY||$6,733.40||9|
|SYSTEM DYNAMICS INTERNATIONAL A/K/A SDI||$6,602.62||5|
|BRINDLEYS FAMILY PHARMACY LLC||$6,432.91||3|
|TOWN OF YARMOUTH||$6,049.64||41|
|CLINTON DENTAL CENTER||$5,099.30||13|
|MADDOX SHOP, INC.||$3,814.46||9|
|DISCO AUTOMOTIVE HARDWARE||$3,488.33||5|
|OGUNQUIT SEWER DISTRICT||$3,403.78||4|
|DEVINEY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC.||$3,134.57||38|
|ST. LOUIS CREMATION||$3,100.70||2|
|SOUTHWEST COLLECTION SERVICES||$3,088.33||4|
|ALBANY, TOWN OF||$3,000.77||1|
|TOWN OF STOWE||$2,453.43||17|
|ARGON MEDICAL DEVICES, INC.||$2,324.90||20|
|WHITE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE||$2,308.33||26|
|BUILDERS SUPPLY COMPANY INC. OF DEKALB COUNTY||$1,969.50||2|
|TOWN OF STRATHAM||$1,681.60||4|
|MARTHA LLOYD COMMUNITY SERVICES||$1,394.12||7|
|TOWN OF NORTHFIELD||$971.84||6|
|STEPS AHEAD LEARNING CENTER||$949.05||8|
|CITY OF POPULAR BLUFF||$937.51||3|
|OWENS MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY||$796.64||8|
|LEBANON HOUSING AUTHORITY||$699.20||3|
|TOWN OF LINCOLN||$257.45||4|
|TOWN OF BETHLEHEM||$243.06||3|
|TOWN OF WAKEFIELD||$141.23||3|
|W.S. BADGER COMPANY||$22.13||1|
|CITY OF OXNARD WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT||$0.00||0|
|LAKEWALK SURGERY CENTER||$0.00||0|
In total, the documents show that program participants paid $4,131,237.83 in back wages through Sept. 19, 2019. That total matches the amount DOL disclosed in October 2018, when it said in an announcement that 74 employers had used the program resulting in a total payout of over $4 million in back wages to some 7,500 employees.
DOL launched PAID in 2018 as a six-month pilot program. The agency said at that time that it's aim was to allow employers to audit their pay practices and self-report violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, avoiding litigation while also returning to employees any back wages owed.
But the program has also been the subject of criticism and legal action. In August 2018, Barbara D. Underwood, then-Attorney General for New York state, filed a lawsuit against DOL alleging that the agency failed to respond to a records request involving the PAID program. Underwood, in a 2018 statement, called the PAID program "nothing more than a get-out-of-jail-free card for predatory employers." The parties agreed to voluntary dismissal in March 2019.
This followed a letter from a group of 11 states' attorneys general opposing the program. A statement that same year by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, one of the states' attorneys general involved in the letter, said that the program "takes away workers' rights by giving employers a free pass to pay back overdue wages to their employees — without facing any penalties for violating federal and state labor laws."
In an article published by The Hill in 2018, Bryan Jarrett, the former acting administrator of DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), said that the PAID program includes "safeguards to protect employees and prevent abuse of the program" and that it not an employer would not be allowed to participate in PAID if WHD determines it is acting in bad faith or is under investigation for pay violations. Violators cannot use PAID to settle ongoing lawsuits nor resolve recurring violations, Jarrett said.
Management-side attorneys who previously spoke to HR Dive about the PAID program said it is one way to settle wage violations with employees, albeit one that can be risky, according to some, due to the possibility of follow-up litigation by state regulators. Others, however, said that risk is overblown. Tammy McCutchen, principal at Littler and a former administrator of DOL's Wage and Hour Division, previously told HR Dive that some of the states that expressed opposition have been cooperating to get back wages to their citizens.