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Pair of ABQ hotels paying back wages to staff after Labor Dept. investigation

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amacmMCM Elegante and MCM Grande Hotels in Albuquerque and Texas have paid $78,876 in overtime back wages to 200 dishwashers, bartenders, wait staff, bellmen, housekeeping and maintenance workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

The probe found overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employees in Albuquerque and at properties in five Texas cities were not properly paid wages due, the Labor Deaprtment said in a news release.

The hotels are owned by HTL Operating LLC, based in Odessa, which has agreed to comply with the FLSA at all of its locations and pay the back wages,

Investigators found that the MCM Elegante and MCM Grande Hotels paid housekeeping staff a flat rate per room cleaned, without regard to the number of hours worked. When these employees worked more than 40 hours in a week, the employers continued to pay only this flat rate, failing to pay overtime at one and one-half times the employees’ regular rates of pay, as required by the FLSA.

A housekeeper paid $3 per room, cleaning three rooms per hour, would earn $450 for a 50-hour week at the piece rate, without overtime. The employee would legally be due $495, a shortage of $45, the Labor Department said.

The employers also failed to pay proper overtime to servers when they based their overtime rates on time and one-half their direct cash wages, rather than the full minimum wage. Tipped employees may be paid as little as $2.13 per hour directly by the employer, provided that they collect enough in tips to earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Overtime must be computed on the full minimum wage. Additionally, the hotels failed to include incentive pay they had paid to employees in their regular rates of pay when computing overtime, and failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours, as required by the FLSA.

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