WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — New Jersey gasoline stations recently had to pay nearly $300,000 in back wages to workers they underpaid in 2014, according to NorthJersey.com.

The federal government has mandated $5.5 million in payments over the past few years in wage violations at these businesses, stated the article.

"Our investigations of the New Jersey gas station industry found widespread violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions," said Mark Watson, regional administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, in the article.

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The most common violation was refusing overtime pay, noted the article. The companies would instead pay straight wages for hours worked beyond 40 per week.

Sal Risalvato, head of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store and Automotive Association, shared in the release, “Much of what the Department of Labor has uncovered amounts to bookkeeping [errors], and not shorting employees." According to Risalvato, the group supports ensuring workers are paid fairly.

The Labor Department reports the industry has taken actions to comply with wage laws, noted the article. They have asked officials for help in educating their managers about the laws.

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