A limousine company based in Berlin will pay $500,000 in damages and back wages to nearly 200 drivers who the Department of Labor says were not properly compensated for the overtime they worked.
The Department of Labor and S.D. Transportation Services LLC, the parent organization of Premier Limousine, settled a lawsuit today that the government agency filed in March 2012.
The suit was sparked by a Dept. of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation revealing that the company had underpaid drivers in violation of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a release from the DOL.
Investigators reportedly learned that sedan, limousine and SUV drivers had been paid straight time for time worked beyond 40 hours per week, rather than the legally mandated time-and-a-half overtime compensation, according to the DOL.
The DOL also alleges that Premier Limousine payroll records did not accurately document employees’ daily and weekly hours.
Premier Limousine released the following statement in response to the settlement:
“Premier Limousine has always hired the best chauffeurs and treated them as professionals with the respect that they deserve, and we greatly value their service and contribution to our success. We have always operated in good faith and in compliance with all applicable wage and hour laws. During the past 30 years, our chauffeurs have been exempt from overtime and have benefited from the freedom to work the hours that met their needs. Premier Limousine will continue to work to accommodate employee schedules and ensure that customer satisfaction remains a top priority. Despite Premier’s vigorous defense and the fact that the law throughout the country is still unsettled, we have entered into this settlement to put this matter behind us and will comply fully with its terms.”