TAMPA, Fla. – A federal investigation into pay practices at a technology subsidiary of global banking giant Citigroup revealed the Florida company denied hundreds of employees’ overtime compensation and did not maintain time records, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation of Citigroup Technology Inc. in Tampa, the employer has paid 882 employees a total of $ 1,870,009 in back wages and a civil penalty of $ 97,680 for repeat violations. The division’s investigation focused on CTI’s Anti-Money Laundering Division and its practice of classifying analysts improperly as administratively exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirement. By misapplying an exemption to these workers, CTI denied them overtime compensation when they worked more than 40 hours in a work week. The employer also failed to maintain required time records for these employees, as required by law.
“Employers must understand that simply paying an employee a salary does not necessarily mean the employee is not eligible for overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Dr. David Weil. “The back wages and penalties paid in this case should cause other employers to take note, and to examine their pay practices. The Wage and Hour division will continue its vigorous enforcement of the law, including the overtime regulations, to ensure that workers take home every penny they have rightfully earned.”
CTI has paid the back wages, will comply with the FLSA going forward, and has signed an agreement with the department which requires them to review compliance for all of their remaining analyst positions and notify the Wage and Hour Division in writing if any back wages are due. The wages and penalty cover violations committed between Nov. 2, 2013 and Oct. 31, 2015.
The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for individuals employed in bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales positions, as well as certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $ 455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. For an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the department’s regulations. On May 18, 2016 the department announced a Final Rule updating these requirements. The effective date of the final rule is Dec. 1, 2016.
CTI’s parent company is Citigroup, a leading global bank with approximately 200 million customer accounts and business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.