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DOL Files Suit Against New Mexico Auto Glass Shop

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has filed a suit against a Touch of Glass Enterprises Inc. for withholding payment of minimum wage and/or overtime compensation allegedly due to employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, Albuquerque Division, and also named the company's president, Emily Gordon, and vice president, Emerald Duquette, as defendants.

The company and its leaders are charged with paying its employees at rates less than the minimum hourly rated required by the FLSA and with requiring employees "in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce" to work more than 40 hours a week "without compensating such employees for their employment in excess of 40 hours per week at rates not less than one and one-half times the regular rates at which they were employed," according to court documents.

In addition, the DOL alleges that the company failed to keep accurate records of how many hours employees worked each day and the total each week.

The plaintiff is seeking that the liquidated damages equal in amount to the unpaid compensation be provided to the affected employees and that pre-judgment interest also be computed at the underpayment rate established by the Secretary of the Treasury, according to the complaint.

The case has been assigned to U.S. magistrate judge Don J. Svet.

At press time, neither Gordon nor Duquette had returned glassBYTEs.comô/AGRR magazine's call for comment.

The suit comes on the heels of several others filed against auto glass businesses for similar allegations. In August 2007, two former ABRA Auto Body & Glass employees filed a class-action suit against the company in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, alleging required customer service managers (CSMs) and customer service representatives (CSRs) to work overtime without pay and that it did so by misclassifying these employees as "managerial," which exempted them from overtime pay (CLICK HERE for related story). ABRA had previously announced it was attempting to mediate the case November 27-28, but announced on January 9 that this had been postponed until next week, January 23-24.

Similarly, in October, a complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Diamond Triumph (CLICK HERE for related story.) In this complaint, a former employee alleges that he and other similarly situated employees had frequently worked in excess of forty hours per week for the Kingston, Pa.-based company and were not paid "time and a half."

CLICK HERE for the full text of the complaint.

CLICK HERE to visit the Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.


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