SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – A recent U.S. Department of Labor investigation found a Shawnee gas station and convenience store made illegal deductions from workers’ pay for uniforms and cash register shortages that brought wages below the federally required minimum wage.

The department recovered $166,073 for 732 workers.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Sparky’s Kwick Stop Stores required workers to pay for smocks, uniforms and cash register shortages and made deductions from employees’ pay for these items that reduced employee’s hourly rate of pay below $7.25 per hour.

“While the law permits employers to make certain deductions from pay, such as for uniforms, shortages or breakage, these deductions from pay must not reduce an employee’s wage rate to below the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour,” said Wage and Hour District Director, Michael Speer in Oklahoma City. “Low wage workers depend on every cent earned to make ends meet, and the law requires that they receive at least the federal minimum wage for every hour of work.”

By law, if an employer requires the worker to bear the cost of uniforms, their rate of pay must not fall below the minimum wage or impact overtime compensation owed.

The Wage and Hour Division has a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages. The Division protects workers regardless of immigration status and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages.