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INDIANAPOLIS–For the third time in five years, federal investigators found that an Indianapolis security company violated federal wage laws by failing to pay guards overtime.

The U.S. Department of Labor ruled that Protection Plus Inc. must pay $27,597 in civil penalties for its “repeat and willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.” The Wage and Hour Division says they found 31 security professionals are owed $28,334 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages.

Protection Plus provides security professionals who patrol Indianapolis International Airport’s grounds. They also guard businesses and provide traffic control in the area.

Investigators say that from January 8, 2021 to November 18, 2022, Protection Plus did not pay required overtime rates to some employees. When the firm did pay overtime, they failed to accurately compute overtime when employees got two or more rates of pay for different jobs performed in the same work week. Protection Plus is also accused of not maintaining accurate payroll records.

“Protection Plus continues to defy federal overtime wage laws, despite being found in violation in both 2018 and 2022 for the same practice. Abiding by federal wage laws in not optional,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Aaron Loomis in Indianapolis. “The Department of Labor will continue to hold this company and its owner, Raymond Stanley, accountable for paying their workers the wages they have rightfully earned.”

In 2018, Protection Plus paid 158 workers $98,949 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages. They also paid $25,000 in civil penalties for the willful nature of their violations.

“The guard services industry remains in the top 20 of the division’s high violation industries. Employers must understand that illegal wage practices may damage their ability to retain and recruit the workers required for their operations,” Loomis continued.

In fiscal year 2023, the division recovered more than $5.2 million in back wages for 4,913 workers in the guard services industry.