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Hang ‘em high: Rope execs get jail time for pay scheme

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

In a stark reminder that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) carries personal liability, three executives at Belton-based High Performance Ropes of America were convicted of felonies for their part in a scheme to exploit undocumented workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) ordered the company to pay $165,356 in overtime, back wages and liquidated damages to 31 em­­ployees (plus another $20,000 in court-ordered fines) after determining the company had committed willful and repeat felony FLSA vio­­lations.  

But then a court convicted the company owner, a plant manager and an office manager on separate felony counts.

WHD investigations found that High Performance Ropes failed to pay undocumented workers for overtime hours, submitted false ­payment evidence to the DOL and kept a second set of time records hidden from investigators.

Other company officials received jail time and probation for aiding and abetting illegal re-entry into the United States and withholding information about a crime.

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