US lead-acid firm East Penn Manufacturing has pledged to fight allegations that it has violated a federal law relating to overtime payments.
The US Department of Labor has launched legal action against the company, claiming an investigation found overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
But East Penn has said the move is “without merit” and that it would mount a vigorous legal defence.
According to the Department of Labor, East Penn failed to pay employees for all hours they worked. The department said East Penn employees spent time putting on protective clothing after clocking in, and removing that protective clothing and showering before clocking out, time which is compensable under the law.
East Penn is accused of failing to pay employees for that time, “instead paying only for employees’ scheduled hours regardless of what their time-clock entries showed”.
The lawsuit seeks back wages and damages for more than 6,900 employees “for wilful violations” of the law and an order permanently enjoining the company from violating the law in future.
BEST Battery Briefing could not contact East Penn Manufacturing for comment. However, the company told local media it had fully cooperated with the Department of Labor’s review of its employee payment practices under the federal overtime and record-keeping laws.
East Penn said it had “a long history of providing competitive wages and benefits for employees and their families”.
“East Penn believes that the company has complied with federal laws, and were surprised when the labor department filed its lawsuit.”