ARIZONA NEWS

Glendale plastering company ordered to pay employees over $700K in back wages, damages

Mar 8, 2023, 2:54 PM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A West Valley plastering company was ordered to pay employees more than $700,000 in back wages and damages following a federal investigation.

The Department of Labor said Tuesday that Glendale-based Palo Verde Plastering Inc. paid employees “by the yard” and that 470 were denied overtime.

“Hundreds of workers — many who worked on new home construction in Maricopa County — will now receive unpaid wages and damages, ranging from $42 to more than $7,000 per worker,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Murray said in a press release.

Palo Verde Plastering was also ordered to change its payroll practices to comply with federal recordkeeping regulations, update its timekeeping system, amend its corporate handbook and hire a third party to conduct training for its supervisors, managers and others with payroll duties.

An initial investigation into Palo Verde Plastering’s payroll records was launched in 2021, which revealed the company wasn’t paying employees overtime and that it didn’t maintain accurate pay records, according to the release.

Investigators allege that after their initial findings the employer agreed to pay hourly wages and overtime in November 2021, but reverted after a month, and violated the law until at least March 2022.

The plastering company was also fined nearly $24,000 in civil penalties.

“Palo Verde Plastering deliberately tried to evade the law by instructing employees that piece-rated employees are not owed overtime wages without regard to their hours worked, and then intentionally did not record all hours worked and wages earned to avoid paying overtime,” Murray said.

“Employers who violate workers’ right to be paid their full wages may face costly consequences, including penalties for willful acts to cover-up their violations.”

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Glendale plastering company ordered to pay employees over $700K in back wages, damages