A grocery store chain has been ordered to pay $212,459 in wages it owed its workers for overtime following a federal investigation.
Supermercado Lomabonita has been ordered to pay the amount after the U.S. Department of Labor found it had failed to pay overtime to its "cooks, butchers, bakers and cashiers."
There were 81 affected employees, who work at Supermercado Lomabonitas in Crystal, Savage, Hilltop (Anoka County), St. Paul and Monticello.
Per the Department of Labor, employees were paid "straight-time" for all the hours they worked including overtime – which should have been paid at time-and-a-half.
The business also "failed to combine hours" that employees worked at multiple stores during the work week, failing to pay overtime as a result. It also failed to maintain accurate records of the number of hours employees worked.
The department says the retailer "erroneously" considered some workers exempt from overtime, with some working up to 70 hours a week for flat salary, not getting paid extra for any hours worked over 40.
"Violations like these are all too common in the grocery industry. Shorting low-wage workers’ pay prevents them from meeting their basic needs,” said the Department of Labor's Kristin Tout, based in the Minneapolis office.
"Our enforcement and education initiatives raise awareness of federal labor laws and protections among employers, workers, community organizations and others, and help ensure that workers take home every penny of their hard-earned wages."