Puerto Rico to pay more than $35M in back wages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The commonwealth of Puerto Rico has agreed to pay more than $35 million in back wages to nearly 4,500 workers in a settlement reached with the Labor Department.

The agreement to restore unpaid overtime wages to workers at Puerto Rico’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is part of a consent judgment approved Friday by a federal judge in Puerto Rico. It’s one of the largest such settlements in Labor Department history.

Labor officials say the commonwealth is taking steps to ensure future compliance with wage and hour laws. It is installing a new timekeeping system and hiring more staff to reduce overtime needs.

The Labor Department says workers were given too much compensatory time off instead of earning overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.

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