A staffing client in Pennsylvania must pay in $598,366 in back wages, damages and penalties after underpaying workers, the US Department of Labor reported Thursday.

According to the DOL, Lansdale, Pa-based Fox Bindery Inc. knowingly failed to pay temporary workers for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. It also knowingly paid workers less than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The agency said Fox Bindery did not make an effort to determine if the employees were properly paid despite receiving detailed invoices from the staffing firms.

Henry Fox, owner of Fox Bindery, disputes the DOL’s assertion that his company knowingly underpaid its workers, telling PrintingImpressions.com he showed proof to the DOL that he paid his staffing providers’ weekly invoices, which, including markup fees, were well over the $7.25 minimum wage. The DOL’s Wage and Hour division received records from the two temporary agencies, which closed their doors when faced with significant financial liabilities for not properly paying their temp workers, Fox asserted.

“The use of temporary staffing agencies by Fox Bindery Inc. does not excuse its responsibility to comply with federal wage and hour regulations,” said Wage and Hour District Director James Cain, in Philadelphia.

“This case illustrates the need for companies to aggressively audit their suppliers on a periodic basis to ensure that they are complying with all applicable laws, especially as it relates to payment of overtime and [Fair Labor Standards Act] classification,” said Bryan Peña, SIA’s senior VP of contingent workforce strategies. “It’s important to note that in the end, while the suppliers may have been the direct employer of these individuals, the client still is on the hook for compliance of said laws.”