A Lakeland roofing company paid $50,034 in back pay and a $1,864 civil penalty after investigators found violations of the overtime and child labor parts of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.
The back pay went to 112 employees of High Tower Roofing, an average of $446.73 per worker. The child labor violations concerned having a minor driving on public roads.
“At this time, we are declining to make a statement on this matter,” High Tower said in an email. The company has been registered in the state of Florida since 2012.
Labor said its Wage and Hour Division found that High Tower paid the same piece rate — a rate based on production, not time — even when the roofer worked more than 40 hours.
“Many roofing industry employers may believe that only employees paid by the hour are entitled to overtime, but that is not true,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff said. “Nonexempt workers paid by the square-foot, a day rate, per contract or on a salary basis must also be paid overtime.”
As for the child labor problem, Labor said, “High Tower hired the minor as a supplies runner who was required to deliver supplies to roofers at job sites.”
Under the FLSA’s child labor rules, 16-year-olds aren’t allowed to drive on public roads for work. The law allows 17-year-olds to do so, but only within strict parameters.
The Wage and Hour complaint section of the Department of Labor website contains information on how to file a complaint. Miami’s Wage and Hour Division office can be reached at 305-598-6607.