Materials firm Ravago Americas has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in back wages by the U.S. Department of Labor.
An investigation by the department found that Orlando, Fla.-based Ravago had failed to pay $424,537 in overtime wages to 195 employees, in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
In a Nov. 7 news release, department officials said that Ravago paid workers fixed salaries, based on a 40-hour work week, without regard to how many hours they actually worked. When employees performed work before their shifts, after their shifts, during their meal breaks and/or at home, officials said, those hours were neither recorded nor paid for.
This practice created an overtime violation when the unpaid time pushed workers' totals beyond 40 hours in a work week, and no overtime premium was paid, officials added. Ravago also failed to maintain required time and payroll records, they said.
In addition to paying back wages, Ravago has agreed to install an accurate time-keeping system to capture daily start and end times of employees and to include an accurate record of hours worked on pay stubs for all non-exempt personnel. The firm also will perform enterprise-wide training with all managers and employees on proper clock in/out procedures on installed time-keeping system, employee rights regarding compensable and non-compensable time and on proper procedures to correct inaccurate payroll caused by a time-keeping error.
Daniel White, the DOL Wage and Hour Division's district director in Jacksonville, said in the release that “simply paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean the employee is not entitled to overtime.
“Restoring these wages, and getting this company to pay in compliance with the law going forward, will make a meaningful difference in the quality of life for these workers and their families,” he added. “Other businesses, who may be paying in the same manner, should take note. Workers who are being paid straight time for overtime should give us a call.”
In a Nov. 8 statement, Ravago Americas President Jim Duffy said that his firm “highly values our employees.”
“The recent results of the Department of Labor investigation helped us clarify current practices and prepared us for upcoming DOL changes targeted for December of this year,” he added. “We have implemented all recommendations made by the DOL and incorporated them into our standard operating procedures.
“We believe these new procedures will continue to reflect our commitment to our current employees, competitively position us when attracting new talent and reflect our uncompromising commitment to complying with all rules and regulations applicable to our business.”
Ravago Americas is a unit of Ravago Group of Arendonk, Belgium. Ravago Group employs 5,000 worldwide, distributing almost 9 billion pounds of resins and compounds to 40,000 customers. The firm also operates 30 manufacturing sites for recycling and compounding, as well as production of expanded polystyrene resin and finished products for the building and construction market.