H&H Landscaping paid regular rates for overtime hours; fined $29K for intentional failure
LAS VEGAS – A recent federal investigation has found that a Reno landscaping company – that employs workers exposed to the outdoors, including on summer days when temperatures can peak at 90 degrees – intentionally shortchanged 57 of its workers by denying them overtime wages they were owed.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators determined that H&H Landscape LLC violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying the affected workers their regular hourly pay rates in cash for hours over 40 in a workweek, and did not record all hours worked in its pay records, also an FLSA violation.
The investigation led the division to recover $88,957 in overtime back wages for the affected employees, and to assess H&H Landscape $29,640 in civil money penalties for its willful recordkeeping violations.
“Landscaping work is hard, harder still when temperatures soar. H&H Landscape’s employees have the right to be paid all the wages they’ve earned and their employer has a legal obligation to pay them,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Sylvia Argueta in Las Vegas. “The U.S. Department of Labor found that H&H Landscaping shortchanged nearly 60 workers of wages they depend on to care for themselves and their families and willfully failed to record all of the hours worked in an attempt to avoid paying overtime.”
In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $1.2 million for more than 1,000 people employed in the landscaping services industry, among the division’s low-wage, high violations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects demand for grounds maintenance workers to grow 8 percent by 2030 and about 173,200 job openings each year, on average.
“In addition to denying workers their full wages, employers who violate federal labor laws also gain an unfair competitive advantage over those who abide by the law,” Argueta added. “Employers are struggling these days to fill the positions they need to operate their businesses which gives law-abiding employers a better chance to retain and recruit the people they need.”
The Wage and Hour Division has a number of resources online for workers and employers, including an FLSA compliance toolkit. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) with questions about worker rights and employer responsibilities. Calls can be addressed in over 200 languages, regardless of immigration status.
Read this news release En Español.