Employers in the auto services industry improperly paying their workers in ways that do not comply with federal minimum wage and/or overtime laws is not uncommon. In fiscal year 2021 alone, The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division performed more than 500 investigations of employers in the auto services industry. In total, the Labor Department found that more than 3,500 workers had been illegally shortchanged. The division recovered more than $4 million in back wages. If you think your employer has illegally miscalculated your overtime rate, your compensable hours, or otherwise violated the law, it is well worth your while to contact an experienced Atlanta minimum wage and unpaid overtime lawyer.
Most recently, the Wage and Hour Division launched an investigation into a tire and auto service shop in Canton. At the investigation’s end, the Labor Department concluded that the shop had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by improperly underpaying 19 workers a total of more than $161,000.
One violation related to withheld paychecks. For some of the workers, the employer did not pay them anything during their first pay period. The employers say the held-back paychecks were a uniform deposit. The Labor Department said it was an FLSA violation.
Additionally, the shop failed to pay some of its workers time-and-a-half even though they had worked in excess of 40 hours in a week and were non-exempt employees, according to the division.
A further violation the shop allegedly committed is a common one in the auto services industry. In this field, many workers receive bonuses. The FLSA says that certain bonuses must be factored in when it comes to calculating a worker’s correct overtime rate. The Canton shop allegedly did not include these workers’ bonuses in overtime calculations, resulting in an overtime rate that was too low.
Georgia auto service entities violating the FLSA is not a problem unique to this shop. Earlier this year, the Labor Department recovered more than $79,000 from a chain of tire and auto service shops that operated in Georgia and South Carolina.
Unlawful Practices Common to the Auto Services Industry
In addition to improperly failing to include bonuses in workers’ overtime calculations or not paying overtime to non-exempt employees, employers in the auto services industry also engage in certain other violations with frequency. One recurring kind of violation is a minimum-wage one, not an overtime one. Employers are allowed to pay workers a per-piece rate, but they are not allowed to pay workers a per-piece rate that ends up equaling an hourly rate below the applicable minimum wage. Also, workers may suffer harm as a result of employers making them perform work “off the clock,” usually right before or right after their shifts, or an employer that takes a deduction from a worker’s pay for a meal break, even when that worker works through his/her meal break.
Whether your employer has paid you a sub-minimum wage or has failed to pay you the overtime compensation the law says you deserve, you have a right to take action and seek the wages you were owed (potentially along with other damages.) The Atlanta minimum wage and unpaid overtime attorneys at the law firm of Parks, Chesin & Walbert are ready to help. Our team has extensive experience litigating both minimum wage and overtime cases. Contact us through this website or at 404-873-8048 to schedule a consultation.