Stanley Steemer franchises must pay back wages

ATLANTA (WTOC) - Three Stanley Steemer franchises, including a location in Richmond Hill, are accused of violating federal labor laws after a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor in Georgia and Texas.

The labor department's Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act at Stanley Steemer franchises in Atlanta, Richmond Hill, Ga., and Houston, Texas.

Gerald Quatela, the owner of the three franchises, has agreed to pay back wages of $175,039 to 174 employees and labor department penalties of $17,895 for repeated violations, according to the labor department.

Workers were classified by the company as exempt from overtime pay, but the FLSA provides an exemption from overtime for employees of retail and service establishments who are paid in commission in certain circumstances, according to the department of labor.

The employees who were due back wages held jobs that failed to meet all of the conditions and were therefore ineligible for exemption in the case, according to the department of labor.

The investigation found that 108 employees at two Georgia stores are due $118,045 and 66 employees in Houston are due $56,994.

The Wage and Hour Division's Atlanta District Office is looking for workers who were employed with Stanley Steemer in Atlanta, Richmond Hill and Houston from June 2009 to June 2011 and may be owed back wages. These workers should call 404.893.4600.

For more details about the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements and exemptions, go to

For more information about the FLSA and other federal labor laws, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE or its Atlanta District Office at 404-893-4600 or go to

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