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Violations cost US disaster recovery company $0.75 million

The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that Beck Disaster Recovery Inc. has agreed to pay $754,578 in overtime back wages to 89 current and former temporary field supervisors. The agreement comes after the Department of Labor found, among other violations, that the company had incorrectly classified them as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, resulting in a denial of full and fair compensation for all hours worked.

The violations were systemic throughout the company's offices across the United States.

"Misclassification of employees as exempt from the FLSA has become a common problem and one the Labor Department is determined to bring to light," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "When violations of the law are found, we will take appropriate action to ensure workers are paid in full."

Beck Disaster Recovery provides emergency preparedness and natural disaster response services to public and private sector organizations nationwide. Its corporate offices are in Maitland, Fla., and the company maintains offices in San Diego, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Indianapolis, Ind., New Orleans, La., Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y., Houston, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Employees travel to natural disaster sites as needed.

In addition to denying several misclassified employees overtime compensation earned for hours over 40 in a week, the company did not provide paid leave as required. Under the FLSA, employees claimed as exempt must receive a fixed salary that may not be reduced based on the quality or quantity of the work performed.

The company has agreed to pay the full amount of back wages, properly classify its temporary employees as nonexempt from the FLSA and maintain future compliance with the law.

The FLSA 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, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to keep accurate records of all hours worked by covered employees.

Beck Disaster Recovery is now part of SAIC, having been acquired in 2009.

•Date: 10th March 2011 • Region: US •Type: Article •Topic: BC companies

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