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Nineteen warehouse workers at a site in Lancaster are among 785 nationally who will share a $508,181 payment for unpaid overtime, the U.S. Labor Department announced.

The employer, Freight Handlers, paid piece rates instead of hourly wages to workers who unloaded trucks, resulting in unpaid overtime, the agency said.

The back wages owed to the local workers totaled $17,467.

Under labor law, workers are entitled to a 50 percent wage premium when they work over 40 hours in a week.

Freight Handlers performs truck unloading services at the former Tops grocery distribution warehouse in Lancaster, now operated by C&S Wholesale.

The Labor Department's investigation focused on 13 locations in seven states over a two-year period ended in May.

Freight Handlers, headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., made the payments on Oct. 29, a department spokesman said.

Company officials were unavailable for comment.

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