From 2007 to 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered $1.2 million in back wages for 381 employees at 100 New Jersey gasoline stations.
The department's Wage and Hour Division is now aiming for more.
It launched a statewide enforcement initiative involving investigations at selected gas stations and an effort to educate operators about their obligations to pay minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the agency said Thursday. The act requires work over 40 hours in a week to be paid at a time-and-a-half rate.
"We have found that New Jersey gas stations are rife with violative pay practices such as paying workers a flat salary or 'straight time' wages for all hours, without regard to minimum wage and overtime requirements, or paying workers 'off the books,' rather than maintaining legally required payroll records," George Ference, regional administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the Northeast, said in a news release disclosing the effort.