Ohio Church Ordered to Pay $388,507
in Back Wages
The Church operated a buffet style restaurant for church goers
which was staffed by unpaid “volunteers”. The U.S.
Department of Labor (DOL) prosecuted the claims against the church
for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying
minimum wage, overtime and not keeping accurate payroll records.
The Federal District Court in Ohio also found that the employees
were entitled to liquidated (double) damages. As a result, church
was ordered to pay $388,507 in back wages. The DOL victory illustrates
that the FLSA’s reach is wide and applies to all businesses,
regardless of whether the business in question is secular or
a religious organization.
While in another case, a lady worked as an administrative assistant
for the United Methodist Church in Tennessee. After 20 years
in her position, she retired. Several months later, on September
26, 2017, she filed suit against the General Board of Discipleship
of the United Methodist Church claiming that the church violated
the FLSA by not paying her overtime. In her complaint, she states
that she consistently worked more than 40 hours every week that
she was employed by the church and that officials were aware
and intentionally did not pay her the overtime wages she was
owed. This case has not yet been heard and is still pending.
These two lawsuits clearly illustrate that even religious organizations
must still comply with the FLSA as well as various other Federal
and State laws.
A company’s best defense against the potential expense
and aggravation related to federal or state law violations is
to proactively review and revise as needed their Human Resources
policies, handbooks, hiring procedures, compensation, benefits,
training programs, communications tools and other functions.
The professionals of PHHR are ready to assist your organization
maintain compliance with the latest state and federal mandates.
Paul Hilton Human Resources Consulting works with our clients to insure that all required documentation is correct and sufficient to successfully defend against a claim to any unemployment compensation commission.
|For assistance with any Human Resources related questions or other
issues, please Contact Us.
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