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Violation of wage laws lands Texas employer in hot water

It may be happening on the other side of Texas, but a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act by a company in El Paso serves as a reminder to Houston residents that dishonest employers can, and should, be held accountable for any underhanded tactics. There are federal laws that protect you from retaliation should you report violations about your employer so that employees don't feel bullied in to staying quiet.

El Paso Hose & Fittings was recently found to have shirked wage and hour laws that deprived 10 current and former employees of nearly $32,000 in wages.

According to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, El Paso Hose & Fittings forced employees to show up to work early and stay late. And yet, the company did not pay their employees for this time. Making matters worse, the company deducted lunch breaks from the paychecks of these overworked and underpaid employees, even when an employee took a short break or no break at all.

Compounding their transgressions, the company did not keep proper financial records of their employees' wages.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay their employees time-and-a-half for any work performed in excess of their regular 40-hour week, and the employer must maintain accurate and proper records of these finances. El Paso Hose & Fittings was held accountable for their violations of the FLSA.

Remember, you have a right to complain about questionable circumstances surrounding your paycheck. Often times, it is hard to spot such shady tactics that would cause your pay to be unfairly less than what it should be. Your employer may have simply made a mistake or tried to classify your position in a lower pay grade. Discuss your situation with an attorney well-versed in wage and hour laws to learn what kind of legal options you have to rectify your case.

Source: KTSM, "El Paso Company Violates Labor Law, Pays Up," July 11, 2012

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