05/20/2015 // Keller Grover LLP // (press release)
Dallas, TX—An investigation by the Labor Department has uncovered rampant wage and hour violations in the North Texas hotel industry that included minimum wage violations and the alleged offenders requiring employees to work off the clock, reports California wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover of the Keller Grover law firm.
The investigation targeted more than 30 hotels and motels in Arlington, Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Plano and Abilene that hired staffing agencies to provide workers for their hotels.
“We are taking a hard look at the hotel industry where employment practices, such as subcontracting, franchising and third-party management, can put downward pressure on costs — often at the expense of wages,” Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the agency’s Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest, said in a statement reported by Star-Telegram. “We will continue to use every enforcement tool available to ensure industry-wide compliance with the law.”
A total of 639 employees including housekeepers, cooks, maintenance workers, front-desk clerks and event managers in the Dallas and Abilene areas received over $180,000 in back wages as a result of the investigation.
In addition, other FLSA violations that included failure to pay bonuses and commissions when computing overtime pay rates, failure to keep accurate time-keeping records, as well as employment misclassification of independent contractors were found.
S&A Staffing in Dallas was the biggest violator; failing to combine hours when an employee worked for more than one client during a work week and failing to pay overtime wages. S&A was ordered to pay $113,795 in overtime wages to 390 employees.
“Texas is no stranger to wage theft related claims, and the City of Houston has even considered implementing wage theft-related laws within its city limits,” says Grover. It’s no secret that wage theft is affecting millions nationwide and is costing Americans billions in owed wages and other violations (http://www.kellergrover.com/study-wage-theft-costing-american-workers-50-billion_12748.html). Investigations like the one focusing on the Texas hotel industry, increased protections and workers coming forward with claims are the only way we can fight back and stop businesses from committing these crimes.”
The California attorneys at the Oakland wage and hour law firm of Keller Grover have been helping victims of wage theft recover lost wages since 2005. To learn more about wage laws and whether you’ve been a victim contact, Keller Grover at 888.601.6939.
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