The Secretary of Labor sued Florida-based Hotel Oasis and its president, Lionel Lugo-Rodriguez, for failure to pay minimum wage, to pay training time or meeting time held during non-working hours, and to pay appropriate overtime. The federal district court held Lugo personally liable for the “out-of-pocket” losses of the plaintiffs, as well as for liquidated damages. In agreeing with the trial court, the appellate court stated, “Lugo was not just any employer with some supervisory control over employees. He was president of the corporation and had ultimate control over the company’s day-to-day operations. In particular, it’s undisputed that Lugo was the corporate officer principally in charge of directing employment practices, such as hiring and firing employees, requiring employees to attend meetings without pay, and setting employees’ wages and schedules. He was thus instrumental in ‘causing’ the corporation to violate the FLSA.”
The court also noted that a corporate officer may be held liable even if they have no corporate ownership interest. To read the entire case, click here.