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July 11, 2003
Seasonal Workers in Mass. to Get Back Pay
The Crown and Anchor, Inc. and Crowne Pointe, Inc., both located in Provincetown, Mass., have agreed to pay 69 employees over $65,000 in back wages following a U.S. Labor Department investigation of alleged federal wage and hour law violations. The department also assessed the companies a total of $25,190 in civil penalties for the alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

"We are delighted that these workers will receive their due wages as a result of our enforcement efforts in this case," says Corey Surett, Boston District Director for the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. "Most of the 69 employees covered by our investigation were non-U.S. citizens brought into this country by these employers for seasonal work under the H-2B visa program. And it should be noted that both of these establishments had interlocking ownership and management; and the H-2B employees worked at both locations as needed."

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Surett noted that the investigation conducted by his office covered the period between April 1, 2001 and August 31, 2002. Surett said that the investigation disclosed that employees who worked over 40 hours per week were paid straight time for all hours worked. Investigators found that one employee, claimed by the employers to be exempt from coverage under the law, was determined to be covered by the law and entitled to overtime pay.

Consequently, the Crown and Anchor Hotel will pay 52 employees $37,310 in back wages, and has been assessed $18,190 in civil money penalties for the overtime violations. The Crowne Pointe Hotel will pay $28,000 in back wages to 17 employees and has been assessed $7,000 in civil money penalties.

The FLSA requires that employers pay covered workers at least the applicable federal minimum wage and time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 in a single workweek.

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