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Staffing firm pays $60,000 in per diem mischaracterization

June 24 2013

A construction services employment agency agreed to pay 107 workers almost $60,000 in back wages, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced June 17. The firm, Savard Marine Services Inc., is based in Baton Rouge, La.

The Department of Labor reported the company mischaracterized certain wages as per diem payments and impermissibly excluded these wages when calculating overtime. The practice also resulted in record-keeping violations.

“We are concerned that, in this competitive market, labor service providers are looking to each other for new and creative ways to cut labor costs,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “We are focused on identifying and remedying labor violations involving temporary employment arrangements, and we are working with stakeholders and state agencies to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.”

Another staffing firm paid $1.9 million in back wages for similar allegations, according to the department.


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