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Independent Fastrip Convenience-Store Operator Ordered to Pay Wages, Damages

Judgement follows U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation that uncovered interference, bribery, falsified records, intimidation
U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Photograph: Shutterstock

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Fastrip Sacramento Inc., the operator of a Fastrip convenience store in Sacramento, California, failed to pay federal minimum wage and overtime rates to seven employees for hours over 40 in a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

After learning of the investigation, the employer, Amrik Singh, attempted to interfere by instructing employees not to speak with investigators, including offering bribes, requiring employees to sign blank timecards that the employer later backdated and falsified and by trying to retaliate and intimidate employees by threatening to report their immigration status and by visiting or calling family or friends, according to the department.

A consent judgment orders Fastrip Sacramento and Amrik Singh to pay $57,340 minimum wage and overtime, an equal amount in liquidated damages and $17,500 in compensatory damages to seven workers. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California also ordered Fastrip to pay $4,655 in civil penalties assessed by the division.

“One of the U.S. Department of Labor’s priorities is to protect workers against the types of atrocious and illegal acts these employers took to retaliate against employees and interfere with our investigation,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco. “Their despicable actions to mask their deliberate efforts to deny vulnerable employees their hard-earned wages proved pointless and costly.”

Bakersfield, California-based Jaco Oil Co. owns more than 54 convenience stores branded as Fastrip Food Stores in Arizona and California, most are which are leased to independent operators. The company did not immediately respond to a CSP request for comment.

The division’s Sacramento District Office conducted the investigation. The San Francisco Regional Office of the Solicitor reached the consent judgment at the court.

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