Auto Service World
News   January 16, 2004   by Auto Service World

U.S. News: Auto Parts Company Pays Back Wages, Fines After Labour Violations


A Minnesota based chain of auto parts stores has been forced to pay back overtime wages and fines after an audit found it had made errors in its employment and wage practices.
The W.E. Lahr Company, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based company operating stores under Midwest Auto Parts Distributors, Champion Auto Stores, and Bumper-to-Bumper Auto Parts names has paid $131,658 U.S. in back overtime wages to 127 employees following a Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) self-audit supervised by the U.S. Department of Labour.
Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division contacted the firm and, following an explanation of the FLSA’s legal requirements, the company realized they had mistakenly classified some salaried employees as being exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements, according to the department.
Additionally, the firm had employed 26 sixteen- and seventeen-year-old minors as “parts runners,” which required them to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in order to deliver parts, according to the department. The youth employment provisions of the FLSA establish a minimum age of 18 for occupations in which driving is a primary duty. As part of the resolution of the case, the employer agreed to pay a civil money penalty of $17,400 U.S. for these violations.
The department says the company had no history of previous FLSA violations and acted quickly to correct the problems, so no additional fines or penalties were assessed.


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