Published Date: 01/20/2014
By George Ports
Olympia Development Group LLC, doing business as Safety Harbor Resort and Spa in Tampa, has paid 37 employees $30,786 in back wages after a US Department of Labor (DOL) investigation found violations at the resort of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions.
The DOL investigation revealed that management changed employees’ time records, removing hours they had worked before and after their scheduled shifts, and deducting meal breaks, regardless of whether those breaks had actually been taken. These deductions from employees’ timecards, in addition to violating recordkeeping provisions, resulted in both minimum wage and overtime violations when hours worked went unpaid.
Tipped employees were also paid in violation of FLSA minimum wage requirements when, in addition to their direct cash wages they received from the employer, they did not collect enough in tips to earn minimum wage, yet the employer failed to make up the difference. In addition, tipped employees were paid in violation of FLSA overtime requirements when their overtime rates were based on time and one-half their direct cash wages rather than the full minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The employer has paid all the back wages found due and has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future.
According to the DOL, it is concentrating its resources in the hospitality industry on investigating FLSA violations. Since 2009, the DOL has concluded nearly 5,100 cases involving hotel and motel employers, resulting in more than $16.1 million in back wages for more than 30,000 workers nationwide.