Feds order Mississippi Head Start organization to pay $62,000 in back wages for overtime violations

Published 2:35 pm Monday, August 26, 2019

A Mississippi-based non-profit agency providing Head Start services to children – has paid $62,603 in back wages to 33 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation identified overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The WHD investigation found that AJFC Community Action Inc., based in Natchez, Mississippi, failed to total the number of hours worked each week by employees working dual positions. As a result, the employer failed to pay those employees overtime when they worked a combined total of more than 40 hours in a workweek. WHD also found AJFC Community Action violated the same overtime provision at two of its other Mississippi locations, AJFC in Woodville and Fayette Head Start Center in Fayette.

“The resolution of this case should serve as an opportunity for other employers to review their pay practices to ensure that they comply with federal law, and that employees are paid what they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour District Director Audrey Hall, in Jackson, Mississippi. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages all employers and employees to make use of the valuable resources that we provide to help them understand their rights and obligations under the law.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the WHD, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.