FORT MYERS, FL S & O Groceries Inc. – operating as Bravo Supermarket in Fort Myers, Florida – has paid $13,781 in back wages to two employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department also assessed the grocery store a civil penalty of $806 for the repeat nature of the violations.

WHD investigators determined S & O Groceries Inc. paid two store clerks flat salaries, regardless of the number of hours they worked. This practice resulted in violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek without the employer paying them overtime. WHD found the same violation in a 2017 investigation of this employer.

“Employers must pay their workers all the wages they have legally earned. Simply paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean they are not still entitled to overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff, in Tampa, Florida. “Employees paid on salary basis are also entitled to overtime pay unless they meet all the requirements of a specific exemption. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for assistance in complying with federal wage laws. Violations like those found in this case can be avoided.”

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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