Landscaping company agrees to pay $500K in unpaid overtime

By edited by Kristin Smith-Ely

New Jersey Department of Labor investigation finds Fullerton Grounds Maintenance failed to pay required overtime.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance recouped more than half a million dollars in unpaid overtime for employees after a six-month investigation determined Fullerton Grounds Maintenance of Kenvil, New Jersey, failed to pay legally required overtime.

The investigation revealed that workers had not been paid $529,898.12, collectively, in overtime for time worked over 40 hours per week. Additionally, the landscaping company was found to have made illegal deductions for uniforms and other items not permitted by the New Jersey Wage Payment Law.

“We are not allowing any business to get away with this type of egregious wage theft,” says Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Our state is a better place to live and work when the field is level and all employers play by the same set of rules.”

The employer fully cooperated with the investigation and agreed to perform a self-audit to calculate the amounts owed to the 362 employees who had been paid improperly. In addition to the overtime back pay, Fullerton Grounds Maintenance agreed to pay $40,150.38 in improper deductions and $57,004.85 in administrative fees, plus $20,000 in penalties to NJDOL, which must be paid by June 30.

“We appreciate how this employer worked with our department to rectify this situation and encourage all businesses to see it in their best interest to do all they can to comply with the laws of our state,” says Joseph Petrecca, assistant commissioner of the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance.