LAKELAND, Fla. — A roofing contractor in Florida is paying $50,034 in back wages to 112 workers after the Department of Labor found it wasn't complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and providing overtime pay.

According to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, High Tower Roofing LLC — a Lakeland, Fla. roofing contractor — paid its workers a piece-rate and failed to pay the additional half-time premium for overtime hours. Investigators determined the employer paid roofers the same piece rate for all of their work, even when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The law requires overtime at time and one-half workers’ regular rates of pay for hours beyond 40, even for those paid a piece-rate.

The investigation also determined the employer violated federal child labor requirements by employing a minor to operate a vehicle on public roadways. The department claims High Tower hired the minor as a supplies runner who was required to deliver supplies to roofers at job sites. The division assessed a $1,864 civil penalty for violating child labor requirements of the FLSA.

“These hard-working construction workers deserve to be paid all the wages they have earned. Many roofing industry employers may believe that only employees paid by the hour are entitled to overtime, but that is not true. Nonexempt workers paid by the square-foot, a day rate, per contract or on a salary basis must also be paid overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa, Fla. “This case should also serve to remind other companies employing minors to familiarize themselves with federal child labor requirements so that minor employees can continue to gain valuable work experience as safely as possible."

High Tower Roofing Inc. is a Lakeland-based residential and commercial roofing contractor providing services to the local area.