US Department of Labor has recovered from Patel Shippers LLC, which provides fruits and vegetables from India and Asia to grocery stores in 10 states, $71,047 in back wages for 25 workers denied minimum wage and overtime.
The departmentâ€™s wage and hour division investigators found that the Florida produce provider paid the workers straight-time rates for all hours worked, including for hours over 40 in a workweek, according to a DoL press release.
The employer also failed to pay three workers at least the federal minimum wage by not keeping an accurate record of hours worked. Their actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the release stated.
â€œEmployers have a legal obligation to pay workers for all the hours that they work. When they fail to do so they may owe back wages and liquidated damages,â€ said Wage and Hour Division Acting District Director Anthony Delgado in Miami.
â€œWe remain committed to ensuring essential protections for workers, and to providing clear and confidential compliance assistance to any worker or employer with questions.â€
Patel Shippers LLC delivers fruit and vegetables to grocery stores in Miami, Sunrise and West Palm Beach. The company also supplies grocers in Arizona, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Agency investigators learned of the employerâ€™s practices through the Employment Education and Outreach alliance. The alliance is a collaboration of community and nongovernmental organizations, including state, local, and federal agencies and Hispanic consulates that provides information and assistance to Spanish-speaking employees and employers regarding workplace rights and responsibilities, the release stated.
Workers and employers can reach EMPLEO by calling (877) 522-9832 or (877) 55-AYUDA.
Employers and workers alike can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE with any questions they have concerning wages and the FLSA.Â
Workers and can also track hours worked and pay by downloading the departmentâ€™s Android and IOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.