After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), S&S Hospitality LLC — operator of the Best Western Hotel & Conference Center in Johnson City — has paid $56,999 in back wages and liquidated damages to 15 employees.

The company violated the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal department announced Monday. The employer also paid $6,420 in civil money penalties for the willful and repeated nature of the violations.

A WHD investigation determined that S&S Hospitality violated minimum wage requirements when it manipulated payroll records to reduce the number of work hours it recorded and paid to employees, leaving some hours unpaid. The employer further violated minimum wage requirements when it paid a husband-and-wife cleaning crew only for the hours worked by one member of that team.

Additional minimum wage violations resulted when the employer failed to pay a former employee for all of the hours accumulated during the employee’s final workweek with the company.

The employer’s practice of manipulating payroll records to reflect workweeks of 40 hours or fewer, despite employees working beyond 40 hours, resulted in overtime violations when those overtime hours went unpaid, officials said.

Erroneous rounding practices led to records reflecting fewer hours than were actually worked, and to further overtime violations.

The manipulation of the time records resulted in the employer failing to keep an accurate record of all the hours employees worked, in violation of Fair Labor Standards Act recordkeeping requirements.

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