Kinder Morgan – one of the largest pipeline transportation and energy storage companies in North America, has agreed to pay out $830,422 in back wages to 4,659 current and former employees, the Department of Labor said in a recent press release.
The payment will resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor that alleged Kinder Morgan violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by denying workers in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Texas their fair share of overtime compensation.
The lawsuit stemmed from the fact that employee bonuses were not calculated into regular pay rate, as required by the FLSA. Other violations were also apparent, such as failure to pay employees for pre-shift meetings and improperly rounding employees hours to increase company savings.
“The Labor Department will hold employers accountable when they do not properly pay their workers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The FLSA requires that hours be counted and overtime pay calculated accurately and in a transparent process. Today’s settlement agreement provides back wages, but will also help ensure that Kinder Morgan complies with the law in the future.”
The press release also stated, “Under the provisions of the FLSA, an employer is not required to provide a bonus; however, if a non-discretionary bonus is paid, then the bonus must be included as part of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the purposes of computing overtime. FLSA-covered employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. The regular rate of pay cannot be less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked. Additionally, employers must maintain accurate time and payroll records.”