US Labour dept. recovers over $71K in back wages from firm dealing with Indian fruits and vegetables

By failing to maintain an accurate record of hours worked, the company also failed to pay three employees at least the federal minimum wage. It claimed that their activities were against the Fair Labor Standards Act.

After an investigation into a Florida-based company that deals in Indian vegetables and fruits revealed that the company had failed to pay its employees the minimum wage and overtime as required by law, the US Department of Labor was able to recover $71,047 in back wages and liquidated damages for 25 workers.

Investigators discovered Patel Shippers LLC, which delivers fruits and vegetables from India and Asia to grocery stores in 10 states, including Florida, failed to pay overtime to 25 employees by paying them straight-time rates for all hours worked, including those over 40 in a workweek, according to a press release from the labor department on Monday.

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By failing to maintain an accurate record of hours worked, the company also failed to pay three employees at least the federal minimum wage. It claimed that their activities were against the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to a news release, the department was able to obtain $71,047 (about Rs 58,69,438) in back wages and liquidated damages for 25 employees as a result of the inquiry.

Employers are required by law to pay employees for all hours worked. Anthony Delgado, acting district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Miami, warned that if they don’t, they might be responsible for back pay and liquidated penalties.

Fruit and vegetables are delivered by Patel Shippers LLC to supermarkets in Miami, Sunrise, and West Palm Beach. According to the statement, the business additionally serves supermarkets in Arizona, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.