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March 04, 2005
Verizon Pays $137K in Back Wages for Rest Breaks

Verizon Communications, Inc., has paid $137,870 in overtime back wages to 26 employees at its Memphis location to settle U.S. Department of Labor allegations that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division said the company failed to pay workers for short breaks, lunch periods, and hours worked prior to and following assigned shifts.

"Supervisors permitted employees covered by the FLSA to work more than 40 hours in a workweek, but then would not approve wages for the work performed," says Edison Fernández, Nashville's Wage and Hour assistant district director. "Additionally, the law does not permit employers to deduct 15-minute breaks from employees work time or to require them to work through lunch periods without compensation."

Fernández added that the company cooperated during the investigation.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recovered nearly $200 million in back wages for more than 288,000 workers in fiscal year 2004.

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