F.W. Webb Pays $3.2M in Overtime Pay to 700 Sales Reps - Modern Distribution Management

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F.W. Webb Pays $3.2M in Overtime Pay to 700 Sales Reps

A court found that the company failed to pay affected workers overtime back wages since August 2018 and violated recordkeeping provisions.
F.W. Webb 1

The U.S. Department of Labor says it will recover more than $3.2 million in overtime back wages for 700-plus sales representatives who have worked at Bedford, Massachusetts-based HVAC and plumbing supply company F.W. Webb.

The announcement comes after a federal court sided with the department and concluded on summary judgment that F.W. Webb “misclassified the employees as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” according to a news release.

The two sides also agreed to resolve the remainder of the case via a consent judgment, which also “forbids the company from retaliating unlawfully against employees who exercise their rights to raise wage complaints with the department,” the department said.

F.W. Webb has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The company has paid the more than $3.2 million in overtime back wages owed and will pay future overtime wages that accrue during the period of appeal into an account with the court. “Those wages will be distributed to employees if F.W. Webb Co.’s appeal is unsuccessful,” the department said.

In 2020, the department filed suit against F.W. Webb, claiming that the employer “exempted employees from federal overtime protections improperly and seeking the back wages owed to the workers.” Labor officials also alleged that Webb retaliated unlawfully against employees when the company’s senior management “sent instructions to employees during the department’s investigation that could have discouraged employees from speaking to the department’s investigators freely.”

In June of this year, the district court entered summary judgment in favor of the department on the exemption issue, concluding that the inside sales representatives were not administratively exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements “because they perform the very work that is F. W. Webb Co.’s primary business purpose, namely producing wholesale sales.”

The district court also found that the company had failed to pay the affected workers overtime back wages since August 2018 and violated recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA, the department said. In August, the court entered a consent judgment and order, incorporating the summary judgment decision.

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