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Crackdown on illegal deductions, overtime violations continues

The U.S. Department of Labor has been cracking down on overtime violations and illegal deductions.

In one recent case, DOL Wage and Hour Division investigators recovered more than $66K in back wages for 20 workers at Bellinger Parts Group in South Carolina.

The DOL found that the company — which operates its businesses as NAPA Auto Parts stores — made illegal deductions from employees’ pay at six locations for store damage, cash register shortages and uniforms.

These deductions caused some workers’ pay to fall below the $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage for all hours worked, which is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The DOL also found that Bellinger Parts Group failed to pay overtime to non-exempt salary counter salespeople and delivery drivers for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The investigation found that the employer did not include non-discretionary sales bonuses in some employees’ regular rate when calculating correct overtime rates, leading the company to pay overtime premiums at rates lower than required by law.

“Employers who deny workers their full earnings make it harder for employees to provide for themselves and their families and give these employers an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “Other employers should use the outcome of this investigation as a reminder to review their pay practices to make certain they avoid violations that have costly consequences.”

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