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Feds: Chicago limo firm underpaid its drivers by $190,000

A Chicago limousine firm failed to pay its drivers overtime, and did not pay them for some non-passenger-related duties such as cleaning vehicles, according to a federal agency that wants drivers paid nearly $400,000 in back pay and damages.

DT & C Global Management, which does business as Town & Country Limousine, “incorrectly categorized 34 limo drivers as exempt from overtime” and failed to pay time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond 40 in a week, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a Fair Labor Standard Act complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division also showed that chauffeurs were not being paid for incidental duties, including “time spent prepping and cleaning their vehicles; driving from and to the corporate garage; and waiting for their customers to arrive,” the statement said.

Town & Country also failed to record all hours worked by drivers, according to the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The department estimates drivers were underpaid by more than $190,000, and wants a court to award back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, the statement said.

The complaint also asks the court to issue an injunction against the Town & Country, CEO John Jansen, and COO William Lynch prohibiting them from future Fair Labor Standards Act violations.

“Failing to abide by the law and denying workers the wages to which they are legally entitled deprives them of their hard-earned income, and the ability to care for themselves and their families,” Tom Gauza, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Chicago, said in the statement.

The requirement to compensate workers by paying at least the minimum wage, and overtime for working more than 40 hours per week, has been on the books for more than 75 years. Employees deserve fair compensation for all hours worked. We are asking the court to bring a just resolution to this matter,” he said.