U.S. Department of Labor Date: February 2, 2015
Wage and Hour Division Release Number: 15-13-SAN
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal court has ordered local developer David Emami and three of his affiliated companies to pay 33 Portland-area employees $512,290 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages. The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon agreed with a U.S. Department of Labor investigation that found that Emami and companies Oak Grove Cinemas Inc., Barrington Management LLC and Barrington Venture LLC willfully violated the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court also held that Emami violated the anti-retaliation protections of the FLSA by threatening employees who cooperated with the department’s investigation.
“Those who flagrantly disregard basic wage obligations and then try to cover up those actions should think twice before threatening workers when they simply exercise their right to be paid fairly, as the law requires,” said Janet Herold, the department’s regional solicitor in San Francisco. “This judgment makes clear that we will not allow employers to violate the law and then try to bully their way out of trouble.”
The department concluded that those Emami employed as general maintenance, landscaping and construction workers at commercial properties he owned or maintained had two time cards for most pay periods. On one time card, an employee recorded their morning start time and a midafternoon end time. The employees immediately clocked in on a second time card to record the remainder of a day’s work hours. The workers’ duties and rates of pay remained the same each day at each work location.