Florida overtime lawyer

How does the FLSA apply to Employees of Hotel and Motel Establishments?

What are the typical services provided by hotels or motels? Their  primary function is to provide lodging facilities to the general public. In addition, most hotels or motels provide food to guests and many sell alcoholic beverages. These establishments may also earn revenue from other activities such as valet services offering cleaning and laundering of garments for guests, news stands, and renting out rooms for meetings, lectures, trade exhibits, and weddings.

What are the two methods for applying coverage of  the FLSA to employees of hotels or motels?

A)  The “enterprise” basis of coverage provides that if the employer’s annual dollar volume of sales or business is $500,000 or more, whether from only a single establishment or from an enterprise with multiple establishments, and the employer has at least two employees engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce or handling such goods, all employees of the enterprise are covered by the FLSA.

B)  The FLSA also provides an “individual employee” basis of coverage that applies even if the annual volume of sales or business is less than $500,000. Employees may still be covered if they individually engage in interstate commerce or produce goods for interstate commerce. Interstate commerce includes such activities as transacting business across state lines via interstate telephone calls or the U. S. Mail, ordering or receiving goods from an out-of-state supplier, or handling the accounting or bookkeeping for such activities. It would also include handling credit card transactions that involve the interstate banking and finance systems.

What are the requirements of the FLSA for typical hotel or motel employees?

A)   What is the Minimum Wage? Covered nonexempt workers must be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Wages are due on the regular payday for the pay period covered.

B) What deductions are allowed? Deductions from wages for items such as required uniforms are illegal if they reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage or cut into any overtime pay.

C)   May tips be included as part of wages?   Tips may be included as part of wages for employees who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. However, the employer must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages to tipped employees and make sure that the amount of tips actually received by tipped employees is enough to meet the remainder of the minimum wage (or otherwise pay the difference in wages).

D) Must overtime be paid?  Overtime must be paid at not less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 a week. A tipped employee’s regular rate for overtime purposes must include the amount of tip credit claimed by the employer, plus the reasonable cost or fair value of any facilities furnished to the employee as allowed by the FLSA (such as the cost of meals), and the cash wages including any commissions and certain bonuses paid by the employer.

What are the FLSA requirements for tipped employees?

 Tipped employees are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. If the employer elects to claim a tip credit, the employer must inform employees in advance, advise them of the amount of tip credit to be claimed, and pay them at least the applicable minimum wage when wages and tips are combined. Also, employees must retain all of their tips, except to the extent that they participate in a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement.

What are the youth minimum wage requirements of the FLSA?

 Employers may pay a youth minimum wage of not less that $4.25 an hour to employees under 20 years old during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after initial employment by their employer. The law contains certain prohibitions against employers displacing any employee in order to hire someone at the youth minimum wage.

What are the youth employment requirements of the FLSA?

 The FLSA child labor regulations forbid the employment of minors under age 14 in non-agricultural jobs, restrict the hours of work and limit the occupations for 14- and 15-year olds, and forbid the employment of minors under age 18 in hazardous occupations.

What records does the FLSA require the employer to keep?

The FLSA requires employers to keep records of wages, hours, and other items, as specified in the record keeping regulations, 29 CFR Part 516.

What are the exemptions under the FLSA?

Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA exempts bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA, if they meet certain tests regarding their job duties and responsibilities and are compensated “on a salary basis” at not less than stated amounts. Further information concerning these exemptions can be found in Regulations, 29 CFR Part 541.

What are some typical problems causing non-compliance?

* Employees placed on salary and classified as exempt without regard to the duties performed.

* Failure to maintain records of, or pay overtime to, non-exempt salaried employees.

* Failure to record and pay employees for all hours suffered or permitted to be worked.

* Illegal deductions from pay for items like cash register shortages, uniforms, errors, bad checks, etc.

* Failure to pay the correct overtime rate to tipped employees, or failure to pay the correct overtime rate that includes all service charges, commissions, bonuses and all other remuneration.

* Tips not sufficient to make up the difference between the employer’s direct wage obligation and the minimum wage; employees receiving tips only; and sharing a portion of tipped employees’ tips with employees who are not eligible because they do not normally receive tips.

* Paying straight time for hours worked beyond 40 per week instead of required overtime pay, or averaging the number of hours worked over two or more weeks to avoid overtime pay.

* Failure to pay minimum wage/overtime to temporary help or employee leasing firm workers who are jointly employed by the hotel.

Our firm will prosecute class  and collective actions on behalf of aggrieved employees. We will undertake any litigation arising from this investigation on a contingent fee basis. If a lawsuit is filed as a result of this investigation, we will only seek payment of any fees from recovery generated by the lawsuit. This means any fee we receive will be paid by the defendant or out of any settlement or judgment recovered.  Likewise, all costs will be advanced by us. If an action is filed and not successful, you would not be responsible for any of our fees or costs. If you wish to discuss this investigation and any potential legal options you may have, or if you have any questions please contact our law office.

You may contact the Law Offices of Rose H. Robbins for a free consultation to see if you have a case for unpaid overtime or minimum wages by calling (954) 946-8130 or by filling out the confidential “contact us” form below which will arrive at our law offices instantly. You may email us too: rose (at) roserobbins.com   If our office decides to accept your case and we enter into a written, signed retainer agreement you will not have to pay anything unless we win your case. Appointments are available at various locations in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

John and Anthony Cimino, owners of LTCI, Limited, a theatre refurbishing construction company, were sentenced for unlawful employment of illegal aliens and tax evasion.

Syracuse, NY— United States Attorney, Richard S. Hartunian, announced that John Cimino, age 55, of Doylestown, PA, Vice-President of LTCI, Limited, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court to six months home confinement, twelve weekends in a residential reentry center, and three years of supervised release for tax evasion and conspiracy to conceal, harbor, and shield illegal aliens from detection for commercial advantage and private financial gain. Anthony Cimino, age 57, of West New Hope, PA, President of LTCI, Limited, was sentenced to six months home confinement and three years supervised release for conspiracy to conceal, harbor, and shield illegal aliens from detection for commercial advantage and private financial gain. “Homeland Security Investigations is committed to holding businesses accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal workforce,” said Nick DiNicola, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Albany, NY. “Employers who willfully violate our nation’s hiring laws gain an unfair economic advantage over their law abiding competitors. Our goal is to protect job opportunities for the nation’s legal workers and level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules.”

In April 2008, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, discovered that LTCI, Limited, a Philadelphia based construction company specializing in the refurbishment of movie theaters, was employing undocumented illegal aliens at their worksite located at the Shoppingtown Mall movie theaters in DeWitt, NY. The investigation revealed that LTCI had hired and employed eight illegal aliens at this site.

A further investigation conducted by agents from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), revealed that during 2007 and 2008, LTCI’s Vice President, John Cimino, who was in charge of the company’s payroll, evaded federal tax owed on the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941) by paying his employees (both legal and illegal) a majority of their overtime wages “off the books.”

In addition to home confinement and supervised release, United States District Court Judge David N. Hurd imposed a fine of $20,000 on each defendant. The Ciminos forfeited $223,000 to the United States as proceeds from the unlawful employment of the illegal aliens. Additionally, the Ciminos paid $622,492 for under-reported payroll taxes owed, which included $225,000 in penalties.

165 CABLE, TELEPHONE AND INTERNET INSTALLERS, SOME OF WHOM WERE MISCLASSIFIED AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, SUE EMPLOYER TO RECOVER UNPAID OVERTIME WAGES AND DAMAGES UNDER THE FLSA

March 20, 2012.  US DOL sues Kentucky cable, telephone and Internet installer to recover unpaid overtime wages and damages for 165 employees. Investigations alleged  Bowlin Services LLC and Bowlin Group LLC misclassified employees as independent contractors and falsified payroll records. The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking back wages and liquidated damages for 165 employees of Bowlin Group LLC and Bowlin Services LLC for alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The department’s suit was filed following investigations by its Wage and Hour Division that found the defendants had misclassified employees as independent contractors, and violated the FLSA by denying overtime compensation and failing to maintain accurate time and payroll records. The department also is requesting a permanent injunction against the companies to prevent future FLSA violations.

Bowlin Group LLC maintains its principal office in Walton and operates five subsidiaries. One of these subsidiaries is Bowlin Services LLC, which performs installation services primarily under contract to Insight Communications, a cable, telephone and Internet provider in Kentucky.

“Our investigators found that 165 hardworking employees – including many who had been misclassified as independent contractors – were required to work long hours but were illegally denied overtime compensation,” said Oliver Peebles III, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division’s Atlanta Regional Office. “Misclassification seriously harms employees by forcing them to shoulder additional costs such as payroll taxes and the full costs of any fringe benefits. This lawsuit puts employers on notice that we will not hesitate to take legal action to enforce the law.”

After conducting employee interviews and reviewing the company’s records, the division found that some installers were classified as employees but other installers, doing the same work, were classified as independent contractors.

All installers, regardless of their classification, were paid based upon the pieces of equipment they installed rather than at an hourly rate. They were thereby denied overtime compensation, which would have been at least one and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours beyond 40 hours in a week.

In addition, the employer failed to keep accurate records of the number of hours worked by each installer and falsified payroll records to minimize the numbers of hours worked. The amount of back wages and damages owed continues to accrue while the employer remains out of compliance with the law.

The solicitor’s Nashville Branch Office filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Jury Division, located in Covington.

The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is an alarming trend, particularly in industries that often employ low-wage, vulnerable workers and have a history of significant wage violations. The practice is a serious threat both to employees entitled to good and safe jobs, as well as to employers who obey the law. Too often employees are deprived of overtime and minimum wages, and forced to pay taxes that their employers are legally obligated to pay. Honest employers have a difficult time competing against this practice. The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that employees receive the pay and benefits to which they are legally entitled, and to level the playing field for employers that play by the rules.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees.

These kinds of lawsuits may also be brought by a private law firm such as the Law Office of Rose H. Robbins and FLSA provides for attorneys fees and costs to be paid by the employer.

Our firm will prosecute class  and collective actions on behalf of aggrieved employees. We will undertake any litigation arising from this investigation on a contingent fee basis. If a lawsuit is filed as a result of this investigation, we will only seek payment of any fees from recovery generated by the lawsuit. This means any fee we receive will be paid by the defendant or out of any settlement or judgment recovered.  Likewise, all costs will be advanced by us. If an action is filed and not successful, you would not be responsible for any of our fees or costs. If you wish to discuss this investigation and any potential legal options you may have, or if you have any questions please contact our law office.

You may contact the Law Offices of Rose H. Robbins for a free consultation to see if you have a case for unpaid overtime or minimum wages by calling (954) 946-8130 or by filling out the confidential “contact us” form below which will arrive at our law offices instantly. You may email us too: rose (at) roserobbins.com   If our office decides to accept your case and we enter into a written, signed retainer agreement you will not have to pay anything unless we win your case. Appointments are available at various locations in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.