PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that it has filed a lawsuit against Something Fishy Inc., a Warwick aquarium and fish-pond business, for alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The company’s president, Kurt Harrington, was also named in the lawsuit, which includes allegations of forging an employee’s signature on a back-wage- payment receipt.
According to a news release, an initial investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company underpaid three employees by compensating them with “straight time” instead of time-and-one-half their regular wage rates for overtime.
Harrington signed an agreement in 2010 to pay the back wages and provide the division with receipt forms signed by the employees verifying that they had received the back wages owed. But a subsequent investigation found that only two employees were paid back wages. The department alleges that Harrington had falsified the third employee’s signature on the receipt form he submitted to the division.
Additionally, the company continued to pay workers straight time instead of overtime, DOL said.
“This employer willfully and repeatedly has violated the [Fair Labor Standards Act] by failing to pay overtime, keep proper records and come into compliance, as well as by falsifying an employee’s signature to evade paying him,” said Neil Patrick, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Hartford District Office in Connecticut, which oversees Rhode Island. •