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Good deeds punished: Back OT due in Mankato

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Several construction companies working on a renovation of the student union ballroom on the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University will have to pay more than $38,000 in back overtime wages. To blame: Overly generous scheduling practices.

As a favor to workers, Corcoran-based Ebert Construction scheduled four 10-hour days each week to give the workers long weekends. Ebert and its subcontractors didn’t realize just how big the favor was.

Under state overtime law, any hours worked over eight in a day must be paid at time and a half, even if the employees only work 40 hours in a week. A union rep reported the violation to the Minnesota Department of Labor, which notified Ebert Construction and several subcontractors.

When the department contacted the companies, they quickly agreed to set things right. “We made sure the guys got paid,” Ebert Construction owner Markus Ebert told the Mankato Free Press. He called the initial underpayment a “valu­­able lesson” in scheduling.

Ebert paid back wages of $3,402 to eight of his employees, while $35,094 went to employees of four subcontractors.

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