A Manning-based poultry-catching company recently paid almost $97,000 in back wages for federal overtime and recordkeeping violations.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found Quintanilla Poultry LLC paid its chicken catchers a piece rate based on the number of loads each crew caught without regard to the number of hours they worked, according to national labor department.
That method of paying employees marked a failure according to the Fair Labor Standards Act because the company did not pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Similar overtime violations resulted when Quintanilla Poultry paid some crew leaders a combination of fixed salaries each workweek without regard to the number of hours they worked for supervisor duties performed and piece rates for catching and loading chickens.
"Some employers mistakenly believe that paying employees by piece rate or on a salary automatically means that they do not have to pay them overtime," said Jamie Benefiel, Wage and Hour District director in Columbia.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd.
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