Department of Labor investigation sees Louisiana hotels in Louisiana paying back wages and penalties

SHREVEPORT – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has ordered two Louisiana hotels, Merryton LLC -doing business as Merryton Inn in Shreveport – and Merryton Bossier LLC – doing business as Bossier Inn and Suites in Bossier City – to pay $9,928 in back wages and liquidated damages to 22 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements. The employer was also assessed $4,071 in civil money penalties.

WHD investigators determined the hotels violated FLSA minimum-wage provisions by failing to pay employees for all the hours that they worked. The employers violated overtime requirements when it paid straight time rates for overtime hours, and paid for those hours with separate checks. The court also ordered the employers to pay an additional $5,000 in lost wages for violating the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions when it terminated one employee in Bossier City who questioned the employer’s pay practices. The hotels also violated recordkeeping requirements when they failed to keep accurate attendance and payroll records. 

“The U.S. Department of Labor will enforce labor protections vigorously, particularly when employers repeatedly violate FLSA requirements and retaliate against employees for questioning their employer about wages they may be due,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting Regional Administrator Donnette Holder. “We readily offer employers information and tools to assist them in complying with federal labor law. When violations occur, we will use all available remedies, including litigation, to enforce the law.”

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.