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Houston Companies Reach Settlement With Katrina Workers

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked; plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond a 40-hour work week, according to FindLaw. Any employee that does not receive the proper amount of pay can consult a Houston Employment Lawyer

Two Texas companies recently settled a lawsuit with The U.S. Labor Department over unpaid overtime wages. The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston-based Universal Project Management Inc. and Irving, Texas-based Fluor Enterprises Inc. have agreed to pay $1 million to 154 workers that had worked long hours during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"Workers who help rebuild our communities and secure the safety of local residents following natural disasters should be fairly and legally compensated for the work they perform," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a press release.  "This department is committed to securing their wages and overtime." 

The workers with Universal Project Management and Fluor Enterprises did work in engineering, construction, and the inspection of trailers. The U.S Department of Labor reported in their press release that some employees worked up to 84 hours in a single work week during the hurricane recovery.

An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division in Houston concluded that both companies paid straight time only for all hours worked in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Payments of the back wages from the settlement are ongoing.

Related Resources:

  • Minimum Wage and Overtime Basics (FindLaw)
  • Are Employees Entitled to Overtime and Breaks? (FindLaw Knowledgebase)
  • Houston Employment Lawyer Directory (FindLaw)

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