WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New Jersey supermarket has agreed to pay more $175,000 in employee lost wages and damages after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found violations of federal minimum wage and record-keeping laws.
According to the WHD, employees of R&J Supermarket Corp., doing business as Supermarket La Roca, received "flat salaries" despite the number of hours worked per week, which did not cover the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The WHD said Supermarket La Roca's actions led to overtime violations for employees who worked more than 40 hours per week and were not given overtime on top of the salaries. La Roca is also accused of paying several employees "off the books" in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
"Simply paying an employee a salary does not relieve an employer of its obligation to ensure that employees are paid the wages they have legally earned for all the hours they have worked," Northern New Jersey WHD District Office director John Warner said in a statement. "We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools that we provide to help them understand their responsibilities. Violations like these, along with the fines and damages that may result, can be avoided."
Supermarket La Roca also will pay a $5,491 civil penalty and must use a time clock to keep track of employees' hours as part of the settlement, according to the WHD.