Following an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division , Norwegian Cruise Line is being asked to pay $526,602.00 in back wages.
The payment will serve to compensate employees who were not paid for overtime work, work done prior to the start of a scheduled shift, and work done during mandatory emergency drills.
As we have previously detailed, time worked must be paid. This general rule applies to the overtime payments as well as the payment for work done prior to the start of a scheduled shift and work done during emergency drills. So long as an employee is engaged in a task that management has asked them to do they should be receiving payment.
To ensure that employees are compensated for their working time, it is crucial that employers properly maintain time records. Norwegian Cruise Line’s failure to do so resulted in their paying their employees straight time based upon the employees’ scheduled work hours, which was not reflective of their actual work hours. When resolving a discrepancy between hours an employee claims to have worked and hours an employer has paid the employee, the employee is favored , further highlighting the importance of proper maintenance of time records.
Employers would be prudent to ensure proper pay practices and recordkeeping so they don’t wind up like this ship.