The United States Department of Labor obtained consent judgement for $910k from a staffing agency and its owner for failing to pay overtime to its employees
LYNDHURST, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in a federal court in New Jersey to recover $910,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 289 employees of a Lyndhurst staffing agency whose pay practices deprived them of hard-earned overtime wages.
The court action follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that determined Advantix Logistics Corp. and owner Michael Mortorano paid warehouse employees a combination of hourly and piece rates but did not include an overtime premium for hours over 40 in a workweek. The work of the employees the agency provided included loading and unloading freight from containers and pallets for upwards of 70 hours per week at warehouses. The employer also failed to keep accurate records of employees’ hours worked. These actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Our investigation found that Advantix Logistics Corp.’s pay practices shortchanged nearly 300 people employed by the staffing agency,” explained Wage and Hour District Director Paula Ruffin in Mountainside, New Jersey. “Employers must pay employees all of their rightfully earned wages or face costly consequences when they don’t. We encourage employers to contact us with questions or concerns about their pay practices.”
The consent judgment and order entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey requires the company and its owner to pay $455,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages.
“This consent judgment makes clear to all staffing agency employers that, like Advantix Logistics Corp., they will be held accountable if they fail to pay employees their legally earned wages,” said Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York. “The U.S. Department of Labor is prepared to use every tool available, including litigation, to prevent employers from violating workers’ rights.”
In November 2022, the department secured a separate consent judgment that required Advantix Logistics to pay $65,000 in damages to a former employee. An investigation by the division determined that the staffing agency fired the worker after they complained about not getting paid for all of their hours worked.
The division’s Northern New Jersey District Office conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Amanda Wilmsen of the Office of the Solicitor in New York litigated the case and negotiated the settlement.