Business

Miami office of Venezuelan security company tried to avoid paying OT. It owes $66,000

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

A Miami security company with roots in Caracas owes 23 workers $66,412 in back pay and liquidated damages after it got caught trying to escape paying overtime, according to the Department of Labor.

That’s $2,887.48 per worker that will be paid by AWA Security, run in South Florida by Alejandro Gutierrez out of a Doral office, according to State of Florida records.

AWA expanded to Florida in 1999 after providing security services at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Venezuela for 14 years.

The mission statement on the company’s website says “AWA Security provides the safest, most efficient and integrated security services using best practices and the highest standards in a cost effective manner.”

A little too cost effective, Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigators found. AWA didn’t pay overtime, no matter how many hours employees worked.

“The employer issued employees separate checks or cash payments at straight time for their overtime hours, rather than paying them time-and-one-half their regular rates as required by law,” Labor said.

As is common with this kind of violation, investigators also found the company “failed to maintain accurate time and payroll records.”

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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