U.S. Department of Labor Sues Tree Service for Underpaying for Overtime

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) filed a complaint on March 22, 2024, alleging that the owner of Red Oak Tree Service, based in Crystal Lake, Illinois, owes employees $963,854 in back wages and liquidated damages, according to a Lake & McHenry County Scanner report.

The DOL filed the complaint in the U.S. District court for the Northern District of Illinois Western Division following an investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division.

According to the Lake & McHenry County Scanner report, Humberto Gonzalez, owner of the company, paid cash to 29 employees at their regular pay rate for hours over 40 per week. The total due to employees breaks down to $481,927 in back wages and the same amount in liquidated damages, according to the report.

Tom Gauza, Wage and Hour district director in Chicago, was quoted in the report as saying, “Workers must be paid time and one-half their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek unless they meet very specific criteria. Not paying them earned overtime takes money out of their pockets of workers, harming employees and their communities because workers have less to spend.”

View the entire article here: https://www.lakemchenryscanner.com/2024/03/22/feds-sue-crystal-lake-tree-removal-landscaping-company-alleging-the-owe-workers-nearly-1-million/

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