Grocery Chain Pays $54,935 in Back Wages, Damages For Violating Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Wage Laws in Georgia, South Carolina
SAVANNAH, GA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Krishna Grocery – a grocery chain with stores in the southeastern U.S. – has paid $54,935 in back wages and liquidated damages to three employees for violating minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined store operators Ambaji GA LLC in Savannah, Georgia, and Ambaji USA LLC in Simpsonville, South Carolina, violated FLSA overtime requirements by paying flat salaries to non-exempt employees regardless of the number of hours they worked and failing to pay them required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. A minimum wage violation was also found at the Simpsonville location when the salary paid resulted in a regular hourly rate that was below $7.25 per hour. In addition to these two locations, a third store – operated by Ambaji SC Inc. in Columbia, South Carolina – violated recordkeeping requirements by failing to properly record the hours employees worked and failing to display required FLSA minimum wage posters.
“Paying a flat salary to an employee does not automatically mean they are not also entitled to minimum wage and eligible to receive overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting District Director Derrick Witherspoon, in Atlanta, Georgia. “Employers must ensure they are familiar with federal wage laws in order to meet their obligations to employees. We encourage employers and employees alike to call our offices to speak directly with trained Wage and Hour professionals and ask any questions they may have.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
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/agencies/whd.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.