Labor Department sues San Antonio firm that hires vets, saying it shorted them on overtime

click to enlarge The Department of Labor has sued a San Antonio company, alleging it violated overtime pay rules. - FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS / BRIAN TURNER
Flickr Creative Commons / Brian Turner
The Department of Labor has sued a San Antonio company, alleging it violated overtime pay rules.
The U.S. Department of Labor has sued a San Antonio security firm that purports to exclusively hire military veterans, alleging the business failed to pay 79 of those employees $57,465 in overtime.

The Labor Department filed its suit late last year against Texas Veteran Security LLC and its owner, Gerard X. Morales, who's identified on the company's website as a U.S. Marine Corps vet and a current San Antonio Police Department detective.

Texas Veteran Security was unavailable for immediate comment on the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Federal authorities are seeking the alleged unpaid wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages totaling $114,930, plus injunctive relief. That money would be distributed among workers the Labor Department alleges were underpaid.

“Many of our veterans make immeasurable sacrifices. Their service is valued whether they wear a military uniform or a security uniform, and their rights as workers must be protected,” Regional Solicitor of Labor John Rainwater in Denver said in a written statement. “We will defend their rights, as we do all workers by using every tool at our disposal.”

Federal investigators discovered that Texas Veteran Security paid its workers on a bi-weekly basis but consistently failed to compute overtime after they accrued more than 40 hours in a week, according to the Labor Department's statement. As a result, the company violated two provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, officials added.

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