Kentucky lawn care company pays $100,000 in back wages, damages and penalties following U.S. DOL investigation

October 30, 2019 -  By
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After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Michael Osbourn, the owner of Mike Osbourn Lawn Care, will pay $76,067 in back wages and liquidated damages to 69 employees.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky issued a consent judgment against the Shepherdsville, Ky.-based employer for violating the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employer will also pay $23,932 in civil money penalties.

WHD investigators determined the employer paid and reported the first 40 hours of each employee’s weekly hours on payroll, then paid for any additional hours in cash or with a separate check, all at straight-time rates. By doing so, he failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. WHD also found that Osbourn made illegal deductions from employees’ pay for uniforms and equipment repair that brought their wages below the federal minimum wage.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet investigated Mike Osbourn Lawn Care in 2015 and found similar overtime violations. After receiving written notice of the violations, the employer failed to come into compliance. A previous state investigation led the Department to allege that the violations were willful, according to DOL.

In addition to paying back wages, damages and penalties, Osbourn entered into the consent order and agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating the FLSA and to be monitored by a third party for a period of three years. Osbourn also agreed to secure a bond to ensure the payment of the back wages, liquidated damages, and civil money penalties.

“The result of this investigation and litigation will ensure that willful violators comply with federal law and wages are returned to the employees who legally earned them,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett, in Louisville, Ky. “The Wage and Hour Division will continue to use all of its enforcement tools to secure the wages of hardworking employees and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”

LM Staff

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