US Labor: UMS truck drivers, operators not paid overtime

DUMP TRUCK CREW: Workers help out a dump truck crew that got stuck on the road on Route 8 in 2018. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division said Tuesday that truck drivers and operators must be paid overtime when their work exceeds 40 hours a week. Post file photo

A recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found that UMS Heavy Equipment Rental Inc. in Chalan Pago failed to pay dump truck drivers and operators of other heavy equipment legally required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, the department announced Tuesday.

The investigation led the division to recover $17,308 in back wages for 20 employees. The division also assessed $7,250 in civil penalties due to the willful nature of the violations.

The company failed to pay operators for the time they spent working before and after their scheduled shifts, including necessary time spent inspecting and preparing their trucks prior to leaving the UMS yard, traveling to the job sites and traveling back to the yard, the division found.

When the employer did record and pay for overtime hours, the workers were paid in cash at their straight-time rates. Federal labor law requires payment at 1-1/2 times workers’ regular rates of pay for hours they work beyond 40 in a workweek, the division stated.

“These workers deserve to be paid all the wages they have legally earned, including overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division district director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “Employers must comply with the overtime pay and recordkeeping requirements detailed in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to enforce the law so all employers play by the same rules. We encourage employers to contact us confidentially with any questions they may have about their responsibilities, and to take appropriate actions to avoid costly compliance errors.”

Following the investigation, UMS Heavy Equipment Rental acknowledged the violations, changed its pay practices, and signed a written compliance action plan assuring future compliance with labor laws, the division stated.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (866-487-9243).

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