I’ve blogged in the past about other businesses found to have violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in Orlando, Florida and Umatilla Chemical Depot plant in Oregon. Now, Levi Stauss & Company, the first business to manufacture blue jeans, joins this notable list. The San Francisco District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation and determined Levi Strauss had misclassified several groups of workers, including assistant store managers of newly acquired stores, as exempt from overtime. Additionally, the company failed to record all hours employees worked in its payroll system. Levi Strauss has agreed to pay $1,011,413.00 in overtime back wages to 596 employees nationwide, and upgrade its time and attendance system.
Very few businesses are immune from following the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It applies to all employees of certain “enterprises" regardless of the work they perform. Even if your business does not meet one of the definitions of a "covered enterprise", your employees may still be covered if their work duties meet certain interstate commerce requirements, such as the production of goods for interstate or foreign commerce, including any closely related process of occupation directly essential to such production. For example, an office worker who uses the telephone, fax, U.S. mail or e-mail to communicate with persons in another state is engaged in interstate commerce.
It is important to make sure your employees are properly classified under the FLSA, because the likelihood your business is required to comply with the FLSA is almost 100%. Don’t let your business be penalized like Walt Disney & Levi Strauss.