The investigation by the US Department of Labor has resulted in the recovery of over $460,000 in back wages and damages for 104 employees of a Houston-based supermarket.

Y. S. Lee Company Inc. was found to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay 104 hourly workers overtime wages. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered $460,857 in back wages and damages. The investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division revealed that the Houston-based supermarket, known as Guanajuato Supermarket, paid its employees straight time rates instead of the required time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The company, which includes a restaurant, meat market, and bread store, also failed to maintain accurate pay records as mandated by federal law.

According to Nicole Sellers, the district director of the Wage and Hour Division in Houston, employers have a legal obligation to pay their workers correctly for all hours worked, including overtime. When this obligation is not met, it is a violation of the law and can result in back wages and liquidated damages being paid to employees. The division is dedicated to protecting workers and providing assistance to both employees and employers with any questions or concerns.

The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing laws related to pay practices and other labor standards, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. They also investigate cases where employees have been misclassified as independent contractors, denying them important benefits and protections. Workers and employers can contact the division confidentially at 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243) for assistance. It is important to note that the division protects workers regardless of their immigration status and can communicate with them in over 200 languages.

To ensure accurate pay and hours, the Wage and Hour Division has created a new Timesheet App, available in both English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices. This app can help workers keep track of their hours and ensure they are being paid correctly.  

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