A Massachusetts contractor has been hit with an injunction that prevents the company and its owner from retaliating against current and former employees participating in an investigation into alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor secured the temporary injunction against Capone Bros. Inc. of Canton and owner Charles L. Capone in federal court in Massachusetts.
An investigation by the agency's Wage and Hour Division showed that Capone Bros. owed their workers unpaid overtime wages they are entitled to under the FLSA.
According to the department, Capone allegedly:
- Threatened to “go after” a former worker he suspected was somehow responsible for the investigation
- Contacted that worker’s new employer and made false accusations against her
- Forced other employees to either disclose being an informant for the labor department or say they worked fewer overtime hours than the investigation determined
The injunction prohibits Capone or the company from retaliating or discriminating against any current or former employee for filing a complaint, starting or causing any FLSA proceeding, or testifying or planning to testify in any such proceeding.
It also requires the defendants to post and provide employees with a notice of their rights under the FLSA.
The investigation showed that rather than pay overtime to an office manager who worked 50 hours a week, Capone Bros. would have the employee log her hours in a “kiddie bank” and use them later for sick or vacation time.
But the labor department said Capone Bros. paid the office manager even less than her regular pay for each hour of overtime.
DOL is seeking a permanent order that prevents the defendants from violating anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA and an order awarding punitive damages to impacted employees.