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July 29, 2003
Staffing Agency to Pay $237K in Back Wages

A Houston temporary staffing agency has agreed to pay $237,000 in back overtime wages after an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor found that 308 current and former employees were underpaid.

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The investigation determined that Associated Marine and Industrial Staffing, Inc. failed to properly pay overtime to its employees from August 25, 2000 to April 26, 2002 as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The company also failed to maintain accurate time and payroll records as required by FLSA, according to the department.

"When a temporary agency assigns a worker to work at a variety of locations, then all the hours worked must be combined, and that worker must be paid overtime for working hours in excess of 40 in the work week," says Betty Campbell, Wage and Hour district director in Houston.

The company was paying "straight time" for overtime hours. Under the FLSA, covered employees should receive time and one-half their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The company and Wage and Hour discussed ways in which to correct pay practices that may have resulted in the violations, and the company has agreed to future compliance. The company will pay the back wages in full by September 8, 2003, according to the department.

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