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Harford County hotel owner ordered to pay back wages, damages to employees

The Baltimore Sun

A federal judge has ordered a Baltimore-area hotel owner and manager to pay $157,150 in back wages and damages to 34 of his current and former employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigators say Akhilbhai Patel, manager of Blissful Enterprises LLC and owner of ENA Hotels LLC in Edgewood, violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a department news release Tuesday.

Patel did not immediately return messages requesting comment Tuesday.

The department also fined Patel a $6,440 penalty for the “willful nature” of the violation, the release states.

Investigators alleged that Patel paid some employees at the Comfort Inn & Suites Edgewood and La Quinta Inn & Suites Edgewood flat salaries without taking into account the numbers of hours worked. Some employees were also paid a regular hourly rate for overtime, rather than time-and-a-half, the release states.

“The violations committed by this employer denied workers the wages they were legally due,” said John DuMont, a representative of the department’s wage and hour division in Baltimore. “We offer a wide variety of tools that explain the requirements of the law, and encourage employers in all industries to contact us with any questions about compliance. Our goal is to prevent violations from occurring.”

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