Commerce Business Ordered to Pay Back Wages

By EGP Staff Report

A home furnishings business located in the city of Commerce has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay 57 current and former employees $130,000 in back wages, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages, which totals $260,000.

Dahdoul Textiles Inc. was found to be willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions at the company’s Los Angeles retail store located at 1049 S. Los Angeles St. and at a warehouse located at 7200 Bandini Blvd. in Commerce.

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Investigators from the labor department’s Wage and Hour Division established that Dahdoul Textiles employees were paid straight time for all hours worked and did not receive an overtime premium for hours worked beyond 40 per week, as required by under federal labor law. The employer also maintained two separate timekeeping systems to conceal employees’ work hours, according to the labor department.

“The Wage and Hour Division is focused on not just recovering what is rightfully due to workers, but also preventing employers from breaking the law in the future,” said Kimchi Bui, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Los Angeles District Office. “The fact that we were able to recover double the original wages owed to the workers serves as a warning to employers, who try to skirt the law, that they may face serious financial consequences.”

As part of the consent judgment, the company must not violate federal labor laws in the future, and is required to pay $10,000 in civil money penalties., Dahdoul Textiles is also required to provide annual employee training on federal labor laws and must display a notice of the department’s findings in both English and Spanish in areas highly visible to employees.

Under federal labor law, covered employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and are prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

As a general rule, employers who violate the law are liable for the employees back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, which are paid directly to the affected employees.

Dahdoul Textiles is a retail and wholesale business that sells comforters, blankets, rugs and various home furnishing items.

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February 28, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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