Bluefield accounting firm to pay back wages, damages - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield accounting firm to pay back wages, damages

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BLUEFIELD (NEWS RELEASE) - Accounting firm Raymond A. Froy Jr. CPA, PC, and its president Raymond A. Froy Jr., have agreed to pay $11,003 in back wages and an additional $6,000 in liquidated damages to six employees, resolving a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor that alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

The department filed suit in federal court after a Wage and Hour Division investigation found violations of the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. The investigation determined that the company paid tax preparers straight-time wages for all hours worked, rather than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, as required. The employer also failed to pay two employees at least the federal minimum wage; did not record dates of birth for minor employees; and failed to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment.

"The resolution of this lawsuit sends a clear message that the department will continue taking action to protect all workers when their rights are violated by employers," said John DuMont, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Pittsburgh District Office, which conducted the investigation. "We will use all available enforcement tools, including litigation, to recover workers' wages and ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers."

Under a consent judgment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia Abingdon Division, in addition to paying the back wages and liquidated damages, the defendants are prohibited from violating the FLSA in the future. The consent judgment also states that defendants will cooperate and shall not impede future inquiries or Wage and Hour investigations, and that defendants will not advise clients to conduct business in a manner contrary to the FLSA provisions.

In addition to the requirements enumerated in the consent judgment, Froy agreed to send a letter to the company's clients regarding the requirements of the FLSA and promote compliance with the law. 

The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at no less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exemption status. For an exemption to apply, an employee's specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department's regulations.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for hours worked over 40 per week. Additionally the law requires that accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained. The FLSA also provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for both the back wages as well as an equal amount in liquidated damages,

For more information on the FLSA and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the division's Pittsburgh office at 412-395-4996 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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