Eight construction and logistics companies have been fined by the federal government for abusing overtime rules, reports PROSALES editor-in-chief Craig Webb.
The Department of Labor has imposed nearly $5 million in fines on six of the firms and filed suit against two firms with previous offenses.
The firms reportedly wrongly declared the hours worked by their employees in order to become exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements.
In the most recent case filed last week, the DOL said National Freight Inc. will pay $1.07 million to 357 dispatchers and yard spotters who were wrongly declared exempt from the rule.
"The company paid dispatchers flat salaries, regardless of the number of hours they worked, creating overtime violations when they worked more than 40 hours in a week," DOL said in a news release. "[National Freight] paid yard spotters by the hour, but failed to pay overtime when legally required." The company also failed to maintain payroll records.
The actions come at a time in which the federal government has dramatically increased its attention to overtime rules and the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.