California Company Pays Back Overtime to Workers Paid Straight-Time in Cash

An Unlawful Pay Scheme

According to a recent press release, workers at a Southern California screen printing company have recovered over $150,000 in unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages after an investigation revealed that their employer was paying them straight time in cash for their overtime hours and keeping a separate set of books to cover the unlawful pay scheme. The screen printing company, Fashion Graphics, supplies products to various retailers and specializes in screen printing for T-shirts and other clothing.  Under California overtime pay laws, these workers were entitled to be paid time and a half their regular hourly rate for all overtime hours worked. After an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions for 185 employees, Fashion Graphics was charged an additional $19,712 in civil money penalties, aside from the $151,337 in back wages and liquidated damages. Whenever a company produces goods in violation of the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime, or child labor provisions, the FLSA can prevent the company from shipping those goods via interstate commerce. This is known as the “hot goods” provision, used to ensure that workers are receiving fair treatment. In this particular case, Fashion Graphics agreed not to ship the goods.  

Understanding California Federal Wage and Hour Laws

While California and federal wage and hour laws protect against these types of deceptive pay practices that cheat workers out of their proper pay, unfortunately, this type of scheme is still common among many manufacturing jobs as well as restaurant workers. California labor laws are unique in that they are stricter than other states in the U.S. According to California labor law, any hourly worker who works over eight hours in one day must be paid mandatory overtime for all hours worked beyond eight. Any worker working over twelve hours in a single day must be paid double time. Workers working seven days straight in a single work week must be paid overtime for the first eight hours on the seventh day and double time after eight hours. More information on specific California overtime laws can be found here.  

How to Avoid Overtime Pay Violations

Workers should be suspicious any time they are paid part on a pay check and part in cash, as this is a red flag that they may be a victim of overtime pay violations. It’s important to note that workers can recover not only the unpaid overtime wages that should have been paid to them, but also additional amounts to compensate them for not being paid timely and properly. If you believe you may be the victim of an overtime pay violation, it’s important that you receive the money that is rightfully owed to you. Contact the overtime pay experts at The Lore Law Firm for a free and confidential review.
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