| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free e-book! Corrosion Under Insulation. Sponsored by Thermion.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Painters, Others to Get $2M in OT Case

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

A major industrial services employment agency will pay nearly $2 million in back wages to painters, blasters and other workers after denying them proper overtime, federal officials announced.

Hutco Inc. has agreed to pay $1,916,850 in back wages to 2,267 employees who were assigned to client work sites in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday (May 6).

Hutco is a labor services company that provides skilled and unskilled labor to clients in vessel construction, oil field fabrication, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and other industrial sectors.

Hutco Inc.
Photos: Hutco Inc.

Over 2,000 employees from Hutco Inc., including painters and blasters, will receive close to $2 million in overtime back wages from an agreement" with the DOL. The company admitted no wrongdoing.

Employees entitled to back wages worked as painters, blasters, welders, fitters, tackers, electricians, forklift operators and warehouse personnel, authorities said.

Settlement 'Not an Admission'

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation at the company’s Lafayette, LA, headquarters and found that the company had improper pay and record-keeping practices that resulted in employees being denied overtime compensation, which violates the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The act requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage—currently $7.25 per hour—plus time and a half for anything over 40 hours per week, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay.

Hutco's management said in a statement Tuesday (May 7) that it had "reached a voluntary agreement" with the government "in connection with an audit of our Fair Labor Standards Act compliance."

"Again, this was a voluntary settlement, and not an admission of any violation on our part," the company said. "[N]evertheless, we are pleased to have this matter behind us, and look forward to moving ahead with the best workforce in our industry."

The investigation found systemic overtime violations throughout six branch establishments. Hutco mischaracterized certain wages as “per diem” payments and impermissibly excluded these wages when calculating overtime, denying employees earned overtime compensation, according to the DOL.

overtime back wages

Hutco provides workers for industries such as vessel construction, oil field fabrication and manufacturing. Improper pay and record-keeping practices denied overtime at sites in three states.

“Employers cannot avoid their legal responsibility to pay overtime by using evasive practices that seek to undermine labor laws and deny workers their rightful wages,” said Seth D. Harris, acting Secretary of Labor.

“As a result of our investigation, not only is nearly $2 million in unpaid wages going into the pockets of the workers who earned it, but today’s agreement will also ensure the company’s future compliance with the FLSA,” Harris said.

Vulnerable Workers

Temporary workers can be vulnerable to pay inaccuracies.

“Temporary employment arrangements can make the worker-employer relationship difficult for workers to understand,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, acting deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.

“As a result, temporary workers face the risk of not being treated as employees in terms of the wages and legal protections guaranteed under federal law. The Wage and Hour Division is committed to protecting them, and continues to reach out to stakeholders and state agencies to help ensure that employers who utilize contingent work arrangements do so in compliance with all applicable laws,” Maxwell said.

Fair Labor Standards Act

Hutco describes its services as "recruiting, placing, and managing qualified workers at reasonable rates."

Preventing Future Violations

In addition to paying the back wages, Hutco agreed to specific measures to prevent future violations, including:

  • Setting standards to accurately identify and compensate workers who qualify for bona fide per-diem payments;
  • Paying accurate overtime and ensuring per-diem payments are not automatically excluded from overtime calculations;
  • Informing employees about their pay and employment conditions; and
  • Obtaining written acknowledgement from employees that they understand the criteria for receiving per-diem payments.

Hutco also must maintain accurate records showing which employees received bona fide per-diem payments and showing that the payments are based on applicable Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

Payment of the back wages is ongoing, and the case has also been referred to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, according to the DOL.

A description on the company’s website says, “We are dedicated to recruiting, placing and managing qualified workers at reasonable rates. Our goal is to reduce labor costs, without sacrificing the quality of the work force.”

Hutco has three Louisiana offices, in addition to its headquarters; one office in Mexico; two in Mississippi; and one in Texas.


Tagged categories: Enforcement; Government; Labor; Oil and Gas; Painters

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Steel Fabrication

• Shipyards
• Plate Fabrication
• Structural Steel
• Maintenance

DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.

Keep your records straight!

For use in the field, with step-by-step job-specific entry spaces for the entire coating or lining project; also available in condensed version. Get it today!

SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches

Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.

Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution

The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station

We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

Fischer Technology Inc.

Paired with the PHASCOPE PMP10, Fischer’s new probe is quick and accurate for measuring thermally sprayed aluminum on stainless steel. Click to learn more.

Dampney Co., Inc.
High Heat Stainless Steel Paint & Coating

Wood burning stoves, fire pits, BBQ Smokers, Exhaust Manifolds Aerosol Cans, Quarts, Gallons, 5 gallons 1200F resistance

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

Novatek Corporation
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

Axxiom Manufacturing
Schmidt Introduces
the New miniBRS

Reduced in size, it is incredibly easy to maneuver and operate! The perfect alternative to larger blast & recovery units when project space is limited.
Call 1-800-231-2085

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail