LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A Lafayette-based industrial services employment agency has agreed to pay nearly $2 million in back wages to more than 2,000 employees following a U.S. Labor Department investigation.

The Labor Department said Monday that Hutco Inc. employees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas were denied overtime compensation as a result of the company's improper payment and record-keeping practices.

The department said Hutco impermissibly excluded "per diem" wages when calculating employees' overtime premiums.

The employees eligible to recover back wages from Hutco include welders, electricians, painters, forklift operators and warehouse personnel.

The department said it has referred the case to the Louisiana Workforce Commission for further review.

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