Highland Park pays $49,181 in back wages to employees after federal investigation

Investigators determined city violated FLSA overtime provisions

In this May 7, 2020, photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. The record unemployment rate reflects a nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the economic devastation upending the presidential campaign and forcing President Donald Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the City of Highland Park has paid $49,181 in back wages to four current employees for violations of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also assessed the city $1,368 in penalties because of the repeat nature of the violations.

WHD investigators determined the city violated FLSA overtime provisions after it failed to combine the hours worked by some employees who worked in both fire protection and law enforcement activities. This practice resulted in violations when those employees worked overtime hours, but because the employer did not add together time spent in both tasks, the city failed to recognize and pay the overtime. A 2011 investigation found similar violations.

“Employers must understand the laws that apply to their employees, and ensure that workers are paid all the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director, Timolin Mitchell.

“The outcome of this investigation should remind other municipalities and employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law. We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division with questions to better understand their responsibilities so that they can avoid violations like those found in this case.”

Related: How Highland Park firefighters are preventing COVID-19 spread while fighting fires