Arizona Company Ordered To Pay $1M For Wage Violations

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 3:45pm

An Avondale-based electrical contractor has been ordered to pay a million dollars for wage violations.

The U.S Department of Labor’s consent judgement against Austin Electric Services LLC and its president Toby Thomas comes more than two years after the agency filed a lawsuit against the company.

The Labor Department said Austin Electric managers instructed workers not to record more than 40 hours in a week, resulting in unpaid overtime. The suit alleged the company willfully and repeatedly violated overtime and record-keeping provisions.

In a prepared statement, the department’s regional solicitor Janet Herold said, “The defendants and their attorneys violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and other basic obligations by trying to coerce false statements from their workforce. Federal labor laws protect workers from retaliation, which includes ensuring that they are are free from having employers and their attorneys use outsized influence to pressure them into signing inaccurate statements that deprive them of the wages they lawfully earned.”

The judgement orders Austin Electric Services to pay a $75,000 civil penalty and $925,000 in back wages and damages to 366 employees.

The Labor Department offers a program to employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations and want to self-report and resolve without litigation. Information about the Federal Labor Standards Act and other Wage and Hour Division rules can be found here and by calling 1.866.487.9243.