Kentucky lawn care company to pay $100,000 in back wages, damages and penalties

By edited by Sarah Bunyea

Over $76,000 in back wages and liquidated damages will go to 69 employees.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour, Michael Osbourn, owner of Mike Osbourn Lawn Care Inc. in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, will pay $76,067 in back wages and liquidated damages to 69 employees.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky issued a consent judgment against the Shepherdsville, Kentucky-based employer for violating the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer will also pay $23,932 in civil money penalties.

WHD investigators determined the employer paid and reported the first 40 hours of each employee’s weekly hours on payroll, then paid for any additional hours in cash or with a separate check, all at straight-time rates. By doing so, he failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. WHD also found that Osbourn made illegal deductions from employees’ pay for uniforms and equipment repair that brought their wages below the federal minimum wage.

In addition to paying back wages, damages and penalties, Osbourn entered into the consent order and agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating the FLSA and to be monitored by a third party for a period of three years. Osbourn also agreed to secure a bond to ensure the payment of the back wages, liquidated damages and civil money penalties.

“The result of this investigation and litigation will ensure that willful violators comply with federal law and wages are returned to the employees who legally earned them,” says Karen Garnett, Wage and Hour Division district director in Louisville, Kentucky. “The Wage and Hour Division will continue to use all of its enforcement tools to secure the wages of hardworking employees and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”