Belle Tire to Pay $342,000 in Back Wages After Department of Labor Investigation

Belle Tire has agreed to pay $342,926 in back wages to 1,207 employees at 100 locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio after a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, according a press release from the DOL.

WHD investigators determined Belle Tire violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when the company failed to include incentive bonuses and sales commissions earned by employees in their rates of pay when calculating their overtime payment. Instead, WHD alleges that the company paid workers time-and-one-half of only their base rates, without considering the amounts by which these bonuses and commissions had boosted employees’ straight time earnings. The violation affected non-exempted employees including–tire technicians, mechanics, sales staff, mobile auto glass mechanics, and those offering roadside assistance, according to a report from the DOL.

“Wage violations can be avoided when employers understand the requirements under federal labor law. Belle Tire is now training its store managers, supervisors, and payroll personnel to ensure they compute overtime properly and employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned,” says Timolin Mitchell, WHD district director in Detroit. “This employer remained very cooperative during the investigation and the company wants to ensure compliance at all their locations. We encourage all employers to contact the Division for guidance and assistance to avoid violations.”

Belle Tire issued the following statement on its Facebook page following the report:

“Belle Tire was unaware that we were calculating the overtime payments incorrectly. When the Department of Labor brought the matter to our attention, we cooperated and worked with them to understand what is required and ensured that it be resolved quickly for impacted employees. One of our core beliefs is to do the right thing whether for our customers or employees. Once we understood how it should be calculated, that is exactly what we did.”

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