A Portland-based flooring company will pay $52,000 in back wages to employees following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation that found the company failed to pay workers for time traveling to jobs from a company warehouse.

The investigation found that Paul G. White Tile Co., 444 Riverside Industrial Park, “required employees who worked as floor installers to report to the company warehouse at the beginning and end of each workday and then travel to and from work sites, some distant, in company vehicles,” according to a Labor Department news release.

The department said the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate workers for the time they spend traveling to work sites from a designated meeting place where they receive instructions, perform other work or pick up tools. Employers are not required to pay for travel time from employees’ homes.

“Travel from the designated place to the workplace is part of the day’s work, and must be counted as hours worked regardless of contract, custom, or practice,” it said in the release.

Failure to compensate workers for eligible travel time is a common wage violation in the construction industry, according to Daniel Cronin, the department’s Wage and Hour Division district director for northern New England.

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