SAN DIEGO, Calif. -

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday a settlement with Miracle Springs Resort and Spa of Desert Hot Springs to the tune of $59,790 in back wages to 53 employees, following an investigation which found violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

"Hotel owners and operators must ensure that their employees are properly compensated for all work hours," said Kenneth Morrison, director of the Wage and Hour Division's San Diego District Office. "We are pleased that these workers will be paid their rightful overtime wages and that the employer has agreed to make the appropriate changes to prevent future FLSA violations."

The settlement included payments to maintenance and housekeeping employees.

The labor department said its investigators determined Miracle Springs Resort and Spa, and the nearby Desert Hot Springs Spa and Hotel, were under the same management, but they recorded employee hours on separate payrolls. When the affected employee's hours were combined, the hours often totaled more than 40 per week, entitling the employees to overtime compensation for hours worked beyond 40 per week.  A labor department statement said the employer would automatically deduct a 30-minute lunch break from some employee's work hours, even when employees did not take the break. 

The labor department included in its statement that the employer, along with paying the full back wages to the affected employees, will maintain future FLSA compliance by agreeing to combine the hours for employees who work at both hotel locations. The employer will also deduct lunch breaks only when employees take the 30-minute break. 

For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its San Diego District Office at 619-557-5110. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd