Investigations from the US Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division have resulted in two North Carolina restaurants each paying over $100,000 to employees for The specified item was not found.(Fair Labor Standards Act) violations.
Fiesta Mexicana Restaurante in Clayton, N.C. was found to have violated the FLSA's overtime and minimum wage provisions. The restaurant paid 23 employees straight time for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a single workweek rather than the required time and one-half. In addition, it was discovered that 19 employees were paid less than the required minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Fiesta has agreed to pay back wages to the 23 employees in the amount totaling $102,631.
In a follow up investigation the USDOL discovered that the employer requested that one of the employees return the back wages due. The employee was terminated after refusing to do so. As a result of this action, the employer was required to pay said employee additional back wages and $738 in liquidated damages.
Another investigation conducted by the USDOL's Wage & Hour Division discovered that servers of Charanda Mexican Grill & Cantina of Concord, N.C. only received tips and were not paid any wages by the restaurant. Employers who claim the tipped credit under the FLSA are required to pay employees $2.13 per hour. If however, employee tips added to this hourly wage does not add up to the required minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, it is the employer's responsibility to make up the difference. The investigation also found that cooks working approximately 60 hours per week were denied overtime for their hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. It was also discovered that the restaurant had failed to maintain accurate and complete employee time records.
As a result of this investigation, the restaurant has paid 13 employees a total of $104,394 in minimum wage and overtime back wages and has agreed to comply with the FLSA moving forward.
For more information on the USDOL's Wage & Hour Division go to Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - U.S. Department of Labor.
As is the case in many Wage and Hour investigations, errors and missteps by the company result in fines covering multiple employees over multiple years. Call our Advice and Resolution team for help reviewing your company's wage and hour practices. We definitely don't want to see any CAI members make the US Department of Labor headlines!
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