East Penn Manufacturing will have to pay $22 million to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court case was brought to trial after the battery manufacturer failed to pay overtime to more than 7,500 employees. According to the DOL, East Penn Manufacturing paid workers for their eight-hour shifts but not the additional time required to put on and take off personal protective equipment or time needed to shower to prevent lead exposure. The amount awarded by the jury marks the largest recorded verdict under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL plans to ask the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to award an equal amount for the affected workers.
In a recent quote, Principal Deputy Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman said, “This verdict of more than $22 million is a long-overdue victory for more than 7,500 workers at East Penn Manufacturing. Federal law requires employers to pay workers for the hours they work, including time these workers needed to protect themselves from dangerous workplace hazards.”