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Workers’ Compensation, Overtime and Fair Labor Standards

by | Feb 8, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

An article I read indicates a federal court ordered contractors in New York to pay nearly a million dollars in back wages and damages following a Department of Labor investigation for depriving workers of overtime wages.  https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20211209

Since the employer’s action was willful, they also had to pay $53,000 in penalties.  The scheme involved Macedo Construction where the employers and various companies failed to combine the hours that laborers worked at commonly owned businesses.  The employer paid them with multiple checks from three different companies in order to get around overtime requirements.  Each separate check showed the employee worked less than 40 hours per week when they actually worked a combined total of many overtime hours.  Also, the companies did not pay the employees for time spent traveling from the work yards to job sites and did not keep accurate records of employees’ work hour and pay rates.

 

The starting point for many workers’ compensation claims is the “Average Weekly Wage” and workers’ compensation lost time benefits are paid at two-thirds of that Average Weekly Wage.  Employers use many techniques in order to get around paying an appropriate Temporary Total Disability benefit rate for missed work time due to the work injury.  Since the Worker’s Compensation Department is Wisconsin calculates the Average Weekly Wage on the 52 week average before the work injury date, this is often a contentious issue that requires a lawyer’s expertise.

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