LOS ANGELES — A local dry cleaner has agreed to pay $93,505 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, totaling $187,010, to 26 workers for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Investigators from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that JB French Dry Cleaners violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Act.
The firm paid the majority of its employees working at its four locations a biweekly salary without regard to the number of hours employees actually worked, according to the DOL. For some employees, this salary, when divided by the number of hours worked, was not enough to cover the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour.
When employees worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek (the affected employees worked an average of 50 to 60 hours per week), they were not paid legally required overtime, the DOL reports. Additionally, JB French Dry Cleaners failed to properly record all hours worked for each of its employees.
Upon learning of the errors, the dry cleaner quickly agreed to comply with the FLSA and pay the back wages and damages, the DOL says.
“It is the responsibility of employers to learn about and implement the laws and regulations that apply to their businesses,” says Francisco Ocampo, assistant director of the Wage and Hour Division’s district office here. “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for violations. The Wage and Hour Division offers a great deal of compliance assistance and stands ready to help both workers and employers.”
Investigators learned about the case through the Employment, Education, and Outreach (EMPLEO) program’s labor assistance helpline.