LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A lawn care company in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, violated minimum wage, overtime, and other labor laws and has to pay $100,000 in back wages penalties, authorities said.
The U.S. Department of Labor said in a news release that Michael Osbourn, owner of Mike Osbourn Lawn Care Inc., will have to pay 69 employees $76,067 in back wages and damages and another $23,932 in civil penalties. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky issued a consent judgment against the company.
An investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division showed that Osbourn "paid and reported the first 40 hours of each employee’s weekly hours on payroll, then paid for any additional hours in cash or with a separate check, all at straight-time rates. By doing so, he failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek," the agency said.
"WHD also found that Osbourn made illegal deductions from employees’ pay for uniforms and equipment repair that brought their wages below the federal minimum wage," the DOL said.
The department said that a Kentucky Labor Cabinet investigation found similar overtime violations and that Osbourn, after receiving written notice of the violations, "failed to come into compliance."
"A previous state investigation led to the Department to allege that the violations were willful," the DOL said.
"The result of this investigation and litigation will ensure that willful violators comply with federal law and wages are returned to the employees who legally earned them," said Karen Garnett, the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division District Director in Louisville. "The Wage and Hour Division will continue to use all of its enforcement tools to secure the wages of hard-working employees and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules."
Osbourn could not be immediately reached Friday.