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St. Louis vape shop owner ordered to pay $123,000 in back wages

A federal investigation revealed employees did not receive overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST. LOUIS — The owner of three St. Louis area vape shops will have to pay backwages to dozens of employees after a federal investigation.

Marco DiMaiern, the owner of Coughing Cardinal LLC, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements, according to a press release issued Friday by the U.S Department of Labor. He will have to will pay 55 of his employees a total of $123,422.

The federal investigation revealed Coughing Cardinal and DiMaiern failed to pay employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours during a work week, the release said. Instead, workers were paid flat salaries.

Investigators found violations at three locations: Coughing Cardinal in St. Louis, Greatest Shop Ever in St. Peters, and at El Tigre in Edwardsville.

The company did not maintain accurate records of each employee’s daily and weekly hours worked and overtime pay rate, which resulted in recordkeeping violations, the release said.

“Simply paying workers a salary doesn’t necessarily mean they are not still entitled to overtime," said Wage and Hour District Director Jim Yochim in St. Louis. "The Wage and Hour Division works to ensure employers in all industries comply with federal law so that every employee receives the wages they have rightfully earned. 

"Employers must understand their responsibility to pay overtime and to keep accurate records. We encourage employers to use the wide variety of compliance tools we offer to explain those requirements, and to contact us for guidance.”

For more information wages and fair labor laws, click here or call 866-4US-WAGE.