U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN LOUISIANA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PAYING $178,766 IN BACK WAGES TO 108 / UNA INVESTIGACIÓN DEL DEPARTAMENTO DE TRABAJO DE EE. UU. RESULTA EN PAGOS DE $178.766 EN SALARIOS RETROACTIVOS A 108 EMPLEADOS DE UNA EMPRESA DE CONSTRUCCIÓN EN LUISIANA

Dear Stakeholders:

The press release has been issued in English and Spanish in LA & TX. Please share with your stakeholders.

 

Regards
William Sabik
Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist
United States Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
New Orleans District Office
600 S. Maestri Place, Suite 615
New Orleans, LA 70130

sabik.william@dol.gov

www.wagehour.dol.gov

News Release

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN LOUISIANA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PAYING $178,766 IN BACK WAGES TO 108 EMPLOYEES

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20190520

NEW ORLEANS, LA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. – based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and operating in Louisiana since 2017 – has paid $178,766 in back wages to 108 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime and recordkeeping requirements.

WHD investigators found the framing and drywall construction company violated FLSA overtime requirements when the employer misclassified workers as independent contractors and subsequently failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The law requires payment for overtime hours at time and one-half employees’ regular rates. Recordkeeping violations occurred when the employer failed to maintain time and payroll records as required by the FLSA.

The investigation also revealed that workers employed primarily by Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. were also jointly employed by general contractor RSL Contractors LTD of Spring, Texas, who hired Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. as a subcontractor. RSL cooperated in the investigation and agreed to release payments due to Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. directly to the Department of Labor.

Pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), LWC auditors also participated in this investigation and contributed to its resolution.

“Violations like those found in this case are common in this industry, and are avoidable,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton, in New Orleans. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they’ve earned and that employers compete on a level playing field.”

The Department of Labor offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd/ including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

News Release

UNA INVESTIGACIÓN DEL DEPARTAMENTO DE TRABAJO DE EE. UU. RESULTA EN PAGOS DE $178.766 EN SALARIOS RETROACTIVOS A 108 EMPLEADOS DE UNA EMPRESA DE CONSTRUCCIÓN EN LUISIANA

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20190520s

NUEVA ORLEANS, LA – Después de una investigación de la División de Horas y Salarios (WHD, por sus siglas en inglés) del Departamento de Trabajo de EE. UU., Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc., con sede en Fort Walton Beach, Florida, y operando en Luisiana desde 2017, ha pagado $178.766 en salarios retroactivos a 108 empleados por haber violado los requisitos de pagos de sobretiempo y la preservación de registros de la Ley de Normas Razonables de Trabajo (FLSA, por sus siglas en inglés).

Los investigadores de la WHD encontraron que la empresa de construcción de estructuras y mampostería violó los requisitos de los pagos de sobretiempo de la FLSA cuando el empleador clasificó incorrectamente a los trabajadores como contratistas y posteriormente no les pagó las horas de sobretiempo cuando trabajaron más de 40 horas en una semana de laboral. La ley exige el pago de sobretiempo a una tasa no inferior a tiempo y medio de la tasa regular de pago del empleado por cada hora trabajada en exceso de 40 en una semana laboral. Las violaciones de los requisitos para preservar los registros ocurrieron cuando el empleador no mantuvo los registros de tiempo y nómina como lo exige la FLSA.

La investigación también reveló que los trabajadores empleados principalmente por Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. también fueron empleados conjuntamente por el contratista general RSL Contractors LTD de Spring, Texas, quien contrató a Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. como un subcontratista. RSL colaboró con la investigación y aceptó liberar los pagos adeudados a Gomez Drywall Contractors Inc. directamente al Departamento de Trabajo.

En conformidad con un acuerdo entre el Departamento de Trabajo de EE. UU. y la Comisión de Fuerza Laboral de Luisiana (LWC, por sus siglas en inglés), los auditores de LWC también participaron en esta investigación y contribuyeron a su resolución.

“Las violaciones como las que se encuentran en este caso son comunes en esta industria, y son evitables”, dijo el director del distrito de la División de Horas y Salarios, Troy Mouton, en Nueva Orleans. “La División de Horas y Salarios se compromete a garantizar que los empleados reciban los salarios que han ganado y que los empleadores compitan en un campo de juego nivelado”.

El  Departamento de Trabajo ofrece numerosos recursos para garantizar que los empleadores tengan las herramientas que necesitan para entender sus responsabilidades y cumplir con la ley federal, como videos en línea, llamadas confidenciales, o visitas en persona a oficinas locales de la WHD.

Los empleadores que descubran violaciones de horas extras o del salario mínimo pueden autodenunciarse y resolver esas violaciones sin litigio a través del Programa PAID. Para obtener más información acerca de la FLSA y otras leyes aplicadas por la División, llame a la línea de ayuda gratuita al 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). La información también está disponible en https://www.dol.gov/whd/ incluida una herramienta de búsqueda para trabajadores a quienes se les pueden adeudar salarios atrasados cobrados por la WHD.

The Louisiana Language Access Coalition will hold its 2019 Conference:  “Securing the Future of Language Access in Louisiana” July 18, 2019

“Securing the Future of Language Access in Louisiana”

Thursday, July 18, 2019
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans
Medical Education Building
1901 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Register here

This year’s conference will provide specialties in tracks dedicated to Health, Justice and Education for both professional and community advocates, community members, service & healthcare providers, educators, administrators, policymakers and interpreters/translators.

The conference promotes understanding and cultural competency for populations of Limited English Proficiency, and is open to any interested party.

Registration is $50.00 and required. We expect your commitment to participate in the full scheduled conference time.

We will provide continental breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. The space is provided by our host LSUHSC School of Public Health.

For more information and to register to for the 2019 LLAC Conference visit http://www.louisianalac.org


Karla Sikaffy duPlantier, LLAC Co-Chair
Daesy Behrhorst, LLAC Co-Chair

The Louisiana Language Access Coalition promotes full and meaningful participation in public life, without barriers based on language, for all people.

Pro Bono Project seeks Spanish speaking volunteer

The Pro Bono Project, a nonprofit civil legal services organization, seeks a volunteer or volunteers fluent in Spanish to assist with Spanish-language communications. Specifically, the volunteer(s) would come to our offices (935 Gravier St., Ste. 1340) once weekly or once bi-weekly, to listen to and translate voicemail messages on our Spanish-language telephone line. The volunteer(s) may be asked occasionally to make return telephone calls to gather additional information from applicants, or to convey information to them. No legal expertise or experience required. Contact Managing Attorney Jesse George at jgeorge@probono-no.org if interested.

Thank you so much!

Our Voice/Nuestra Voz “Louisiana Community Power Summit” on May 18, 2019

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We are almost a week away from the Louisiana Community Power Summit next Saturday, May 18th– are you ready???

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We are SO excited to announce that the one and only DJ JUBILEE will be performing at the Summit! This New Orleans bounce legend will be sure to have you all moving!

Get it ready get it ready get it ready ready!

The Louisiana Community Power Summit will take place on the Lafitte Greenway, at Galvez St. and Lafitte Ave, from 10:30am to 5:00pm! You can preview some of the sessions and find more info here.

Stay tuned– more details and big announcements coming next week!

We can’t wait to build power with you May 18th!

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! Tell your friends–share on social media!

#LCPS2019

#COMMUNITY POWER

(en español)

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Estamos casi a una semana de la Cumbre Comunitaria de Poder de Louisiana el próximo sábado 18 de mayo, ¿estás listo?

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¡Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar que DJ JUBILEE se presentará en la Cumbre! ¡Esta leyenda de la música Bounce de Nueva Orleáns hará que todos se pongan a bailar!

¡Prepárate, prepárate, prepárate, listo!

La Cumbre Comunitaria de Poder de Louisiana se llevará a cabo en el Lafitte Greenway, en Galvez St. y Lafitte Ave, de 10:30 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. Puedes ver algunas de las sesiones y encontrar más información aquí.

¡Estén atentos a más detalles y grandes anuncios que se publicarán la próxima semana!

No podemos esperar a crear contigo el 18 de mayo!

¡Ayúdanos a compartir la palabra! ¡Dile a tus amigos y comparte en las redes sociales!

#LCPS2019

#PODERCOMUNITARIO

STEM NOLA Summer Camp is NOW Open!!!!!

presents

 STEM and TECH SUMMER CAMPS!!

Sponsored by: Chevron, AT&T and the Broadcom Foundation

STEM Hands-on Camp:

STEM NOLA’s 4 one-week-long Hands-On STEM Summer Camps will explore Coding & Robotics, Chemistry Biology, Aerodynamics, and more! Each hands-on camp will allow students to engage in project-based instruction where they indulge in all things STEM while developing critical skills in communication, critical thinking, team-building, analytic skills, and reasoning. Camp is for 3rd – 5th graders. Cost: $25 non-refundable registration fee!

TECH Camps:

STEM NOLA’s week-long hands-on TECH summer camps will explore coding, robotics, 3D printing and more! Each hands-on camp will allow students to engage in project-based tech instruction where they will learn computer science and coding principles while developing critical skills in communication, critical thinking, team-building, analytic skills and reasoning

Participants will receive an introduction to digital computing systems where they will apply and incorporate programming to build and develop real-world applications. Camp sessions are held Monday – Friday from 9 a.m until 3 p.m. at the STEM NOLA headquarters. Each session fee is $350 with a $50 non-refundable registration feepaid at the time of registration. Final payment of the balance ($300) will be due by May 20, 2019. Scholarships are available based on need! Apply by clicking the link below:

About STEM NOLA
STEM NOLA is a non-profit 501c3 organization founded by New Orleans native and former tenured Tulane University Engineering professor, Dr. Calvin Mackie. The purpose of its existence is to grow future Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs through STEM inspiration, engagement, and exposure leading to 21st Century opportunities through a cradle to career pipeline! The organization designs and delivers activities, programs & events that bring inspiration, motivation and training to all STEM stakeholders across the metropolitan region. STEM NOLA realizes that any effective community-based STEM program must be broad enough to include everyone while being focused enough to reach the people where they are, on their level, and taking them to where they need to be to compete and succeed in the 21st Century. Founded in 2013, STEM NOLA has engaged over 30,000 students, 10,000 families and 1,000 STEM professionals and college students as mentors.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT REACH AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS NOT PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, May 13, 2019

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT REACH AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS NOT PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH

The Agreement Ensures Access to Justice Programs for Individuals in the Louisiana State Judiciary

The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the Louisiana Supreme Court (LSC) that recognizes the LSC’s commitment to work with the Louisiana Judiciary to phase-in a language access program that will provide oral and written language assistance services at no cost to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals in all state court proceedings and operations.

“I commend the Louisiana Supreme Court for its commitment to work with all state courts in Louisiana to ensure meaningful access for LEP individuals,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The collaborative relationship between the Department of Justice and the Louisiana Supreme Court will only strengthen ongoing Louisiana Supreme Court efforts to ensure equal access to justice for all.”

“This agreement is a partnership to ensure that all people, no matter their national origin, can fully and fairly access Louisiana state courts,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser. “My office is committed to preventing Title VI discrimination, in all forms, in the Louisiana Judiciary.”

This agreement resolves a Department of Justice investigation of a complaint alleging that Louisiana state courts failed to provide language access for LEP individuals, including a failure to provide LEP individuals with qualified interpreters in civil proceedings, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its regulations (Title VI). The agreement is a commitment by the LSC to work with the Department of Justice to ensure the consistent delivery of language assistance services in the Louisiana Judiciary.

During the course of the investigation, LSC began taking steps to improve language services in state courts by retaining a Language Access Coordinator responsible for continuing to improve the LSC’s efforts and initiatives to comply with Title VI. LSC also developed technical assistance tools and provided trainings to Louisiana state court judges about how to address encounters with LEP individuals. Among other commitments in the agreement, the LSC will conduct an assessment of the Louisiana Judiciary to further inform the development of a more robust language access program. The LSC will also work with the Department of Justice to create a statewide language access plan that will include a template so that each state court can develop its own plan.

This matter was jointly investigated by attorneys Dylan Nicole de Kervor and Michael Mulé of the Civil Rights Division’s Federal Coordination and Compliance Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Howard Sinkman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

This complaint was resolved as part of FCS’s efforts to ensure that state courts comply with Title VI language access requirements. The FCS courts team provides policy guidance and technical assistance to state court systems and undertakes enforcement actions with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country.

Attachment(s): 

Download 2019_05_13_Memorandum_of_Agreement

Topic(s): 

Civil Rights

Component(s): 

Civil Rights Division

Civil Rights – Federal Coordination and Compliance Section

USAO – Louisiana, Eastern

Press Release Number: 

19-518

[Message clipped]  View entire message

 

Sweet Potato Farm to Pay $105,000 in Back Wages and Penalties to Settle U.S. Department of Labor Lawsuit for H-2A Visa Program Violations

Dear Stakeholder,

Please share with any interested stakeholders.

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20190425-2

Sweet Potato Farm to Pay $105,000 in Back Wages and Penalties to Settle U.S. Department of Labor Lawsuit for H-2A Visa Program Violations

HESSMER, LA – To resolve a lawsuit filed with the Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), Earl Roy Farm of Louisiana LLC – based in Hessmer, Louisiana – has signed consent findings and will pay $71,611 in back wages to 76 employees, and $33,388 in civil money penalties. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigated the company and found it had violated the labor provisions of the H-2A temporary agricultural visa program.

Specifically, the WHD found that Earl Roy Farm of Louisiana LLC:

  • Gave H-2A workers preferential treatment by paying American workers lower wages than those paid to H-2A workers;
  • Failed to reimburse H-2A workers for the full cost of their transportation from their home towns to the farm and back again, as the law requires;
  • Failed to ensure that workers were offered at least three-fourths of the work hours disclosed in its contracts;
  • Failed to provide local workers engaged in similar work as the H-2A workers with written work contracts; and
  • Unlawfully laid off American workers.

“Any employer seeking H-2A workers must be ready and willing to abide by all the program’s requirements, and must not attempt to shift any of the employer’s costs onto the workers,” said Wage and Hour Division Southwest Regional Administrator Betty Campbell. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to safeguard American jobs, level the playing field for law-abiding employers, and ensure that workers are paid the wages that they legally earned. We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division by phone, online, or to attend any of our outreach events for assistance and to learn more about their responsibilities.”

The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers, who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers, to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

The program requires an employer to attest to the U.S. Department of Labor that it will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of the following: the prevailing wage for the occupation and geographic area, applicable federal minimum wage, state minimum wage, or local minimum wage. This wage must be paid to the H-2A workers and certain similarly-employed U.S. workers during the entire period of the approved labor certification. The program also establishes recruitment and displacement standards to protect similarly employed American workers.

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
April 25, 2019
Release Number
19-0456-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number 972-850-4709

Email

rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Contact: Chauntra Rideaux

Phone Number

972-850-4710

Email

rideaux.chauntra.d@dol.gov

Regards
William Sabik

Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist
United States Department of Labor

Wage and Hour Division
New Orleans District Office
600 S. Maestri Place, Suite 615
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 373-0691 cell

(504) 299-1497 office/fax

sabik.william@dol.gov

www.wagehour.dol.gov