Cintas subsidiary pays $1.3 million for alleged unpaid overtime

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that a subsidiary of Cintas Corp. has paid $1.3 million to compensate 81 fire sprinkler testers and installers for allegedly unpaid overtime.

Cintas, based in Cincinnati, provides work products and services, including uniforms.

The wage case investigated by the Labor Department concerned overtime pay for workers based in the San Jose office of the company’s Cintas Fire Protection Services subsidiary.

The department concluded that the company failed to pay the sprinkler workers the overtime due for an average of three hours per week spent on off-site tasks such as completing reports, sending emails and filling out time sheets, according to Deputy District Director Michael Eastwood.

The workers typically received between $10 and $20 per hour for their jobs, Eastwood said.

Eastwood said the administrative agreement between the department and the company was reached in November, but the department waited to announce it until it ascertained that the employees had been paid.

Eastwood said:

“We’re confident they have been paid.”

The $1.3 million is for back pay and damages. The company also agreed to pay $44,500 in civil penalties to the Labor Department.

In addition, the subsidiary agreed to future measures including organizing a nationwide compliance team, establishing a hotline for worker complaints, reserving the right to terminate managers who allow off-the-clock work to occur, and conducting rigorous field audits.

A spokesperson for Cintas was not immediately available. Cintas did not admit to any liability in the settlement, Eastwood said.