A New Kensington landscaping company has been ordered to pay $150,000 in back wages and penalties after an investigation found the employer refused overtime pay to its employees.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the investigation found that Shurina Brothers LLC failed to pay time-and-a-half employees for overtime worked between January 11, 2018 and December 31, 2020. Instead, the employer paid directly. off-book time rate, which is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the Department of Labor, the company is owned by Christopher Shurina.
The company also failed to record and maintain accurate daily and weekly records of total hours worked, hourly rates of pay for work weeks in which overtime was due, and total bonus for overtime, officials said.
Following a dispute with the Department of Labor’s attorney’s office, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ordered Shurina Brothers LLC to pay more than $61,000 in back overtime wages and an equal amount in damages -interests to affected workers. The company must also pay nearly $28,000 in civil penalties.
The consent judgment also bars defendants from future violations of the overtime and record-keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Landscaping employees are often among the most vulnerable in the nation’s workforce,” said District Wage and Hour Division Manager John DuMont in Pittsburgh. “Our investigation revealed that Shurina Brothers LLC and owner Christopher Shurina deprived these workers of their rightful wages.
“In addition to harming their workers, the employer gained an unfair competitive advantage by ignoring their legal obligations.”
Adam Welsh, attorney for Wage and Hour in the department’s attorney’s office in Philadelphia, added, “The successful investigation and litigation should remind workers that we will defend their legal rights to be paid for all hours worked and take action. against employers who willfully disregard the law.
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division at 866-487-9243 to ask confidential questions or to learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act.