U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Houston Retailer Paying $540,870 in Overtime Wages and Damages

HOUSTON, TX – Houston retailer Conn Appliances Inc. – doing business as Conn’s – will pay $540,870 in back wages and liquidated damages to 1,991 employees to settle overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The corporate-wide investigation covered 164 locations of the appliances, furniture, and electronics retailer.

The investigation disclosed overtime violations when the employer made deductions from employees’ wages to cover the cost of uniforms, and for paperwork processing mistakes. Those deductions dropped workers’ hourly rates below the amount required for them to qualify for a specific exemption from overtime that the employer had claimed. The employer also failed to include commissions and bonuses when calculating overtime rates for some hourly employees, resulting in rates lower than those the workers had legally earned. “We encourage employers to contact the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for assistance, and to make use of the many tools we provide to help them understand the law and avoid violations,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Robin Mallett. “This investigation shows our commitment to ensuring that workers receive their full earnings and that all employers compete on a fair and level playing field.”
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

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