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A Prairie Grove nail manufacturer has paid nearly $112,000 in back wages to hundreds of employees for mishandling their time cards, a federal investigation shows.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor found that Specialty Nail Co., a maker of bulk and collated nails, altered its workers' time cards so they wouldn't be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours a week, and fired two employees who spoke up and sought payment for the overtime hours worked.

"Altering payroll records in a way that causes workers to lose earned income and terminating workers for rightfully questioning such practices is not only wrong, it's against the law," Wage and Hour Division District Director Hanz Grunauer of Little Rock said in a statement. "Employers need to understand the rules."

Specialty Nail also falsified information to five temporary staffing agencies that supplied its labor force, investigators said in a news release Tuesday.

After the investigation, Specialty Nail paid $111,895 in back wages to 260 employees to resolve violations of the overtime and anti-retaliation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also violated record-keeping requirements.

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