An investigation by the Department of Labor found an Anaheim, California-based welding company violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act – to the tune of over $500,000.

According to the Orange County Register, JEM Unlimited Iron was only paying employees for three hours of overtime according to federal rules. The company reportedly cheated 145 employees out of overtime wages between 2016 and 2018.

FLSA requires at least time and a half for non-exempt employees

Federal Law under the FLSA requires employees to earn at least one and half times their normal pay for hours worked beyond the usual 40 in a workweek. Employees exempt from overtime include:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees
  • Outside sales employees
  • Employees at seasonal or recreational establishments
  • Farm workers on small farms
  • Retail or service employees who work on commission

In addition, some workers are partially exempt from overtime, such as hospital workers with 14-day workweeks.

Off the books overtime leads to trouble

Although JEM Unlimited was paying employees the required time and a half for their first three hours of overtime, pay for hours worked beyond that got complicated. The firm reportedly paid half of the required overtime amount in cash, off the books, then the other half through payroll. Overtime beyond the first three hours went unreported by the company. The DOL’s Wage & Hour Division found the firm owed $529, 186 in restitution. Along with the overtime violation, JEM was also cited for improper record keeping.

Employers in New York and across the country must follow the law. When they don’t, an attorney experienced in wage and hour issues can help you assert your rights.