Federal investigation finds company violated minimum wage laws
MINNEAPOLIS –(ENEWSPF)–November 29, 2016. A Minnesota-based company has agreed to pay 15,909 employees nationwide a total of $976,765 – $488,229 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – after a federal investigation found the employer violated federal minimum wage requirements at its health clubs and fitness center locations in 26 states.
Investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Life Time Fitness Inc., a subsidiary of the Healthy Way of Life Company, took deductions for uniform costs, which resulted in workers making less than the required federal minimum wage per hour, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The U.S. Department of Labor takes its responsibility to ensure workers receive the wages they have earned very seriously. This agreement will put thousands of dollars where they belong – in the pockets of hardworking people and their families,” said Karen Chaikin, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in Chicago. “This comprehensive agreement will ensure Life Time Fitness locations nationwide comply with the FLSA and that workers take home their rightfully earned pay.”
In addition to paying the back wages due, the company will:
- Pay civil money penalties of $99,825 for violating the FLSA.
- Conduct formal training on FLSA requirements with general managers who hire, oversee, manage and develop employment and pay practices at its locations nationwide.
“While employers are allowed to take deductions for the cost of uniforms, those deductions cannot bring an employee’s earnings below the federal minimum wage,” said David King, the division’s district director in Minneapolis. “The Wage and Hour Division offers a great deal of compliance assistance and stands ready to help workers and employers alike. Employees who have faced similar deductions or employers who have questions about how to comply should give us a call.”
Investigators found violations at the following locations:
- Fridley, Minnesota: back wages of $2,757 due to 87 employees.
- Lakeville, Minnesota: back wages of $7,895 due to 240 employees.
- Roseville, Minnesota: back wages of $1,247 due to 36 employees.
- Corporate-wide: back wages of $476,329 due to 15,546 employees at locations in 26 states.
Based in Chanhassen, the Healthy Way of Life Company is a privately held, health and lifestyle company. As of October 2016, the company operates 122 centers in 26 states and 35 major markets in the U.S. and Canada under the Life Time Fitness and Life Time Athletic brands.
The FLSA requires that covered, non-exempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about federal wage laws, or to file a complaint, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.
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