NJ Gas Company to Pay $4M for FLSA Violations

April 21, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a judgment against Raceway Petroleum and its owner Nicholas Kambitsis to pay $3.9 million in unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages to more than 700 of their former and current employees, predominantly gas attendants.

Raceway, a company with gas stations located throughout Central and Southern New Jersey, and Kambitsis will also pay $100,000 in civil money penalties.   

A DoL news release said over twenty-five witnesses testified during three weeks of trial before a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and described working as many as 100 hours a week. Witnesses also said that for part of the period covered by the lawsuit, Raceway deducted up to two hours of breaks daily, and many said they got less than one-half hour of break time each day.   

The consent judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the department in 2006 which alleged that, between June 2002 and December 2009, Raceway and Kambitsis violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay employees time and one-half their regular hourly rates when they worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, and by failing to keep accurate time and payroll records.  

In addition to paying the back wages and liquidated damages, the company must retain an independent monitor to ensure FLSA compliance and train employees on their rights under the act, install a mechanical or electronic timekeeping system that accurately records employee hours at each of its gas stations, and provide professional training on the proper use of the time clocks in languages understandable to the employees, according to the press release.