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November 09, 2004
Los Angeles Company to Pay $1.2M in Back Wages

Homestore, Inc. of Westlake Village, California, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $1,254,569 in back wages to 435 employees. The department alleged that the company misclassified the workers as exempt from overtime.

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The company provides services and web-based products in the real estate industry through its websites, Realtor.com, Homebuilder.com, and RentNet.com. The employees receiving back wages sold advertising displayed on the websites.

Investigators for the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division found that the company paid employees straight time for overtime hours worked. Investigators said that the work the employees performed was inside sales work, mainly telemarketing, and would not exempt the workers from overtime pay. The employer had paid the employees a salary plus commissions, and did not keep a record of the hours worked.

Homestore, Inc. agreed to comply with the department's findings by re-classifying the employees and voluntarily extended the back wage period beyond the two-year statute, according to the department. The back wages reflect work performed between April 12, 2002 and Oct. 10, 2004. The employees worked in four company divisions: Realtor.com, Homebuilder.com, RentNet.com, and Retail/NAS.

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