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5 area dealerships caught not paying minimum wage to employees

Friday, April 16, 2021 5:48 PM | Anonymous
Zeigler Auto Group, which has a presence in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, has been ordered to pay 214 employees a total of $85,111 in minimum wages and overtime back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Federal investigators determined that the dealer group failed to ensure that its commission-based sales consultants earned a $7.25 federal minimum wage at 13 stores in the three states, including five in Illinois.
Investigators noted violations involving 80 sales consultants specifically at 10 locations. The other 134 employees who did not receive wages for which they were entitled held different jobs than sales, the labor department said.
"Employees paid on commission basis must earn at least the federal minimum wage per hour of work completed. If they do not, employers must make up the difference," said Mary O’Rourke, Wage and Hour Division district director in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"Our investigation ... (put money into the pockets of workers who were underpaid, and) levels the playing field for employers who play by the rules. Other employers in this industry should use this investigation as an opportunity to review their own pay practices and avoid similar violations," she said in a statement.
The federal agency found Zeigler violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it:
• Failed to assure that sales consultants’ commissions covered at least the federal minimum wage for all the hours that they worked.
• Wrongly classified some salaried employees in their business development centers as exempt from overtime requirements, and then failed to pay them overtime despite their duties not qualifying for exemption.
• Failed to maintain accurate payroll records.
The investigation period covered February 2018 through August 2020, he told the Detroit Free Press. The findings were made public March 31. Federal authorities have been working with Zeigler Auto Group and confirmed the company has repaid the back wages and overtime, said Scott Allen, a labor department spokesman.

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