BOISE, Idaho — After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Cano Roofing Inc. — a construction company doing business as Signature Roofing in Eagle, Idaho — will pay $48,206 to 68 employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements.

WHD also assessed $5,526 in civil penalties to Cano Roofing Inc. for several child labor violations.

According to a release, the child labor violations include employing a 16-year old to perform roofing work and operate a power grinder; and permitting a 17-year-old to drive and service a company truck that exceeded weight and size limitations for minor employees.

Investigators also found the company paid employees on a piece-rate basis, per square foot, on residential projects. This practice resulted in violations when the employer failed to keep a record of the number of hours these employees worked, and subsequently failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Cano also failed to pay overtime to three hourly workers and failed to pay employees for time spent in short rest breaks.  

“Employers must understand and comply with child labor requirements, and provide a safe and healthy on-the-job experience when they hire young workers. Employers are also required to pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour District Office Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the labor standards and learn about our on-line educational tools, to avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”

Joe Cano, owner of Cano Roofing, told the Idaho Press that his company didn't "feel like we were victims by any means" and that the investigation was "amicable."

“We have made the changes, we did learn from it, we thought the fines were fair and everything was correct,” Cano told the Idaho Press.

The Idaho Press reports that the company’s policy allowed employees to clock out for lunch for less than 30 minutes at a time. However, an employee can only clock out for lunch if they take more than 30 minutes off. Otherwise, they are to be paid for that break. Cano said the company has changed its policy following the investigation.

Regarding the child labor violations, Cano said the work the minor performed was remaining on the ground to hand items up to their father, but it was still technically considered roofing work. The vehicle violation was the result of allowing a minor to take a truck to a car wash to have it cleaned for the company.