Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Firm to pay up after making workers clock out for bathroom


January 5, 2016

A Pennsylvania company that publishes business newsletters will pay about $1.75 million to thousands of employees who had to clock out while going on short breaks, including for the bathroom.

A federal judge has given the U.S. Department of Labor and the Malvern-based company, American Future Systems Inc., until Thursday to submit proposals on how to manage the payment process, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported (http://bit.ly/1Jr39Tc ).

The bill includes back pay and damages to 6,000 employees who worked at offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio between July 2009 and July 2013.

The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit in November 2012, claiming the company violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because employees weren't earning the minimum wage- $7.25 per hour -when the company required them to clock out for breaks.

"No worker should have to face the choice: Do I take a bathroom break, or do I get paid?" said Adam Welsh, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor's Philadelphia office.

The law doesn't require companies to give workers personal breaks. But if it does offer breaks, it must pay workers for them.


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