A recent report indicates that thousands – nearly 8000 – of employees are entitled to back wages as the result of the failure of a Texas employer to pay its workers the total amount of wages due. The company Kinder Morgan, Inc., and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Inc. one of the nation’s largest pipeline transportation and energy companies in North America, has agreed to pay $830,422 in back wages to past and current employees in order to resolve a pending lawsuit.
A lawsuit was filed against Kinder Morgan after an investigation revealed systemic violations of federal law regarding wage and hour payment practices. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employees who are not exempt from the FLSA are entitled to overtime pay and must be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek. This simple sounding rule is the grounds for many lawsuits across the country. In some instances, employers erroneously and sometimes intentionally, simply fail to make the correct calculation and do not pay workers what they deserve.
Here, an investigation found violations in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Texas. Included in the errors - bonuses paid to employees were not included in the regular rate of pay. As a result, when overtime compensation was calculated, employees received the wrong amount. Another common error made – employees were not paid for pre-shift meetings (which count as hours worked) and employee’s hours were rounded to benefit the company.