Workers in Wisconsin might feel uncertain about what to do if their employer asks them to perform duties outside of their scheduled shifts. Not everyone is aware of their rights in the workplace and might be afraid to refuse to do what feels like a work-related task, even if they are not paid for their time. However, this is a violation of employment law for which employers can be held legally responsible.
The Wage and Hour Division -- WHD -- in the U.S. Department of Labor recently conducted an investigation into Postal Fleet Services Inc.'s wage practices. The investigation determined that the company had committed a number of Fair Labor Standards Act violations, including not maintaining records of employee hours.
Postal Fleet Services was under contract with the U.S. Postal Service at the time of the violations. Workers for the company were required to sort mail prior to clocking in for their scheduled shifts, work for which they were not paid. Workers were also not paid for driving company trucks between cities instead of on their local routes. The company's contract also required that they pay fringe benefits to workers, which they never did.
The company was ultimately ordered to pay $329,057 to 53 of its employees for both back wages as well as unpaid benefits. This type of outcome is a significant victory for workers everywhere, including those employed in Wisconsin. While it might feel difficult or even scary at times, securing just compensation from employers who have violated employment law is an important achievement for worker rights.