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DENVER-After the US Department of Labor investigated locally based Apartment Investment and Management Co., the giant apartment REIT paid $730,043 in back wages to 319 employees nationwide. The back wages were paid as the result of an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers are paid all the wages they have earned,” says Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “In this case, we have succeeded in recovering $730,000 in back wages for these workers and steps have been taken to avoid workers being short-changed in the future.”

Under supervision of the Wage and Hour Division, the company conducted a nationwide self-audit which revealed that some employees were incorrectly classified as exempt from the FLSA overtime requirement. Also, some maintenance employees working more than 40 hours per week were being paid compensatory time rather than wages at time and one-half their regular rate.

Finally, the company misapplied a credit against wages for the cost of providing apartments to employees. Aimco owns and manages more than 1,740 properties with more than 300,000 apartment homes in 47 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. By that measure, it is the largest apartment REIT in the country, although some other REITS have larger market caps.

To help promote nationwide compliance in the future, Aimco developed, with Wage and Hour Division’s guidance, a training video that has been presented at all 1,740 properties it owns and manages.

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