Los Angeles, California based garment contractor SMT Apparel Inc has been ordered to pay 40 workers $51,840 for minimum wage and overtime violations.

The move follows an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which discovered that SMT Apparel paid employees at a piece rate without regard for the number of hours they worked.

This practice resulted in minimum wage violations for 11 employees when their piece rates failed to cover all of their hours at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and overtime violations for 29 employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but were not paid overtime.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring workers are properly paid and to levelling the playing field for law-abiding employers,” says Richard Longo, acting wage and hour deputy regional administrator in San Francisco. “The Wage and Hour Division is available to provide assistance to employers to help them understand the law and avoid violations.”