$135,000 in Back Wages and Damages for FLSA Violations by Restaurants

Thursday, July 2, 2015

In Providence, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found that four area restaurants owned and operated by Andrew Mitrelis — Café Paragon, Andreas Restaurant, Better Burger Co. and Mile & A Quarter — underpaid 17 servers and kitchen employees, in violation of the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As a result, the restaurants will pay more than $135,000 in back wages and damages to the employees. They were also found in violation of the FLSA's record-keeping requirements and have committed to taking corrective action to ensure they obey the law in the future.

The investigations found several violations, including the following:

  • Failing to pay for all hours worked.
  • Paying straight-time rates for overtime hours.
  • Not including bonuses in employees' rates of pay when calculating overtime.
  • Maintaining inadequate payroll records.
  • Failing to pay any wages to a tipped employee.

   In fiscal year 2014, Wage and Hour Division investigations found that restaurant industry employers underpaid                      approximately 44,000 workers in the U.S. by more than $34 million. 

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Nonagricultural and other nonexempt employees are entitled to time and one-half their regular rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages.

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