In recent news, a Landscape company in middle TN that the U.S. Department of Labor believes to have “failed to ensure that their employees received the minimum federal wages and overtime payments as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act”, has agreed to pay $450,000 in back wages to eighty-one employees. According to the news release and other reports, the company, Peach Tree Maintenance Inc. employed both local and foreign workers. Twenty-four of the employees were hired based on the Federal H-2B program that permits employers to hire foreign workers to meet a temporary need for non-professional, and nonagricultural workers”. Also, according to the Department of Labor eighty-one of these employees “were due a total of $433,995 in back wages because they were either paid a flat rate daily without overtime or paid straight time for all hours worked over forty per week”. Twenty-four of these employees were also required to pay their own transportation costs from Guatemala which leads to a reduction in their pay below the federal minimum wage.
During the investigation, it was realized that these employees were an additional $15, 481 in back wages. Employers are required under FLSA to pay minimum wage, overtime payment, and to keep all accurate records of all hours worked for a two-year period. The FLSA requirements to pay minimum wage and overtime are not discritionary. According to their website, Peach Tree Maintenance Inc is located in Lascassas, Tenn., and provides services to the Middle Tennessee area.
If you have an overtime or mimum wage question please feel to contact the employment law section of The Higgins Firm. We will be glad to discuss your claim in confidence.