To ensure employees understand wage and hour law, the federal Dept. of Labor (DOL) may ask you to beef up your employee handbook.
That’s what happened following a DOL investigation of Gavri LLC, which operated a Days Inn in Cincinnati.
The investigation showed that the Days Inn hotel violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions. Investigators found that the company paid clerks at their normal hourly rates, without overtime, for workweeks of up to 72 hours. Additionally, the employer paid housekeepers on a per-room basis, without regard to how many hours they worked. This resulted in overtime violations when the housekeepers worked more than 40 hours in a week. The company also failed to maintain accurate time records as required by the FLSA.
The employer was ordered to pay $21,708 in unpaid overtime to six workers. But that wasn’t all.
Gavri LLC now needs to create an employee handbook with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) information on:
- overtime, and
- work schedules.
Plus, the handbook must contain a contact number for the wage and hour division. All employees must be given the handbook at the time of hiring, and a copy will need to be kept at the front desk.
In 2005, a division investigation found the same violations at the company involving both their own employees and those jointly employed by the hotel and International Staffing, of West Chester. The employers paid $7,812 in back wages to three employees as a result of that investigation.
Why it’s good to have documents
Generally, the DOL doesn’t require companies to have handbooks or even to provide paystubs so employees can check their pay.
But these documents can go a long way in helping workers understand their paychecks. That’s beneficial for your organization – employees who may have concerns know the door to communication is open with Payroll and HR.