Restaurant to Pay Over $116,000 in Back Wages for Violations of FLSA

Friday, May 22, 2015
The Wage and Hour Division of the U. S. Department of Labor conducted an investigation and found that Gourmet Garden was in violation of the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer failed to pay the federal minimum wage to several cooks whose monthly salaries, when divided by the number of hours they worked, was frequently less than the federally required $7.25 per hour. They also failed to pay minimum wage to tipped wait staff by requiring them to participate in an illegal tip pool, or tip sharing arrangement. The firm had employees working as many as 60 hours per week and failed to pay legally mandated overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, and failed to keep legally required time and payroll records.

The investigation of Gourmet Garden is part of a multiyear education and enforcement initiative directed at the hospitality industry in college towns and resort areas in the Midwest, conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

Gourmet Garden will pay more than $116,000 in back wages to 18 employees. The firm also signed an enhanced compliance agreement which requires they install a new timekeeping system; change their payroll system from monthly or semi-monthly to bi-weekly; train workers on their rights under the FLSA; and display posters and facts sheets and provide information in a language workers understand.
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