Florida landscaping company to pay $44,280 in back wages for overtime violations after U.S. department of labor investigation

LONGWOOD, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Competitive Edge Group Inc. – operating as Competitive Edge Landscaping and based in Longwood, Florida – will pay $44,280 in back wages to 75 employees for violating the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found Competitive Edge Group Inc. violated the FLSA’s overtime requirements when the employer paid employees flat rates per day without regard to the number of hours they actually worked.

This practice resulted in overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek yet were not paid overtime. Investigators found additional overtime violations when the employer began paying on an hourly basis, but still failed to pay overtime when employees worked beyond 40 hours per week.

When the employer did begin to pay overtime, the employer erroneously excluded bonus payments from workers’ regular rates of pay, resulting in paying overtime rates lower than those required by law. Investigators also found the employer failed to maintain required payroll records, an FLSA recordkeeping violation.

“Most workers – including those paid by the day, by the job, by the unit, or on a weekly salary – are still entitled to overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville. “We encourage all employers to use the tools the U.S. Department of Labor offers to learn about their responsibilities and to avoid violations.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). 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 https://www.dol.gov/whd.

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