LORAIN – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against MPW Industrial Services of Lorain in order to recover unpaid minimum wage and overtime compensation for 63 current and former employees.
The lawsuit also names company president Monte Black as a defendant.
It stems from an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which discovered evidence of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. According to a press release, MPW has refused to pay the back wages owed to the affected employees.
“MPW Industrial has been found in violation of the FLSA previously for failing to compensate employees for all hours worked, such as travel time and shop time,” said George Victory, the Wage and Hour district director in Columbus in a press release. “Since its previous investigation, the company has still not taken steps to ensure employees are paid proper minimum wage and overtime compensation, in compliance with the FLSA. The filing of this lawsuit demonstrates the department’s commitment to pursuing violators vigorously to ensure compliance with the law.”
MPW Industrial Services provides industrial support services, such as cleaning services, to area steel mills.
An investigation of the company’s Lorain office found that employees reported to the facility at the beginning of their shift to perform necessary tasks, such as loading trucks with personal protective gear and industrial cleaning equipment to use at steel mills. They then traveled in company vehicles to job sites throughout Ohio.
Investigators found that defendants failed to record and compensate employees for time spent traveling between the company’s Lorain office and job sites, and failed to compensate for shop time and wait time at the company and job sites. This failure to pay for all hours worked resulted in minimum wage and overtime violations.
Additionally, investigators found evidence indicating that the company altered timekeeping records to show fewer work hours than actually performed by employees. The company also omitted other required employee information, in violation of the FLSA’s record-keeping requirements.
An investigation in 2009 at the firm’s Canton location found similar violations.