Rife Industrial Marine, a Nederland company that builds oil rigs, has agreed to pay $401,355 in back wages to 567 welders and laborers engaged in offshore construction.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company incorrectly classified some pay as reimbursements for employee travel expenses and failed to pay overtime on those wages. The DOL also found that Rife failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and hours of work.
The company and its president, Rodney Rife, entered into a consent judgment late last summer. Payment of the back wages began in the fall and will continue in installments until August 2011.
Final note: Overtime litigation is big business these days. The unpaid overtime in this case amounted to about $700 per employee, making it impractical for a single employee to sue. That’s why the DOL got involved. And if the DOL does not, you can bet a plaintiff’s attorney will.
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