Ball Aerospace and Technologies will pay $976,327 to 904 employees in Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Georgia and the District of Columbia for unpaid wages. Ball, a Broomfield, CO-based aerospace defense contractor, operates a facility in the city of Warner Robins supporting Robins Air Force Base.
The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Ball had misapplied the executive exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. When top-tiered, hourly workers reached the peak of their pay scales, Ball converted them to salaried, or exempt, status without any corresponding changes in their responsibilities or working conditions. This resulted in $383,235 in unpaid overtime.
The company also routinely required hourly employees to work through their lunch breaks. As a result, the company owed $593,092 in unpaid overtime.
Final note: An hourly employee who works through breaks is a liability, not a bargain. Protect your company from back-wage lawsuits by making sure your employees are properly classified and prohibiting hourly employees from working off the clock.