DOL Cracks Down on Restaurant Wage Theft

DOL Cracks Down on Restaurant Wage Theft

May 30, 2024
May 30, 2024
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The US Department of Labor has been cracking down on compliance recently, closing a series of cases this month against restaurants that have repeatedly shortchanged their workers. Since the start of May, the Department of Labor has announced back wages and fines in several cases of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations at restaurants.


The owner of an Indiana-based diner was found to have harassed employees who were participating in the Department of Labor’s illegal tip pool investigation. As a result of the discovery, a representative from the Department of Labor was allowed to read the diner’s staff their rights under law and post a notice of those rights. The diner also failed to pay proper minimum and overtime wages, and required workers to illegally hand over part of their tips to cover bussers’ pay.


The Department of Labor ordered Empire Diner, located in Pennsylvania, to pay its staff $1.35 million after having been found to use a portion of servers’ tips to pay bussers’ wages in a string of labor law violations against 107 employees. The Department of Labor also found the diner to have violated the FLSA by failing to follow record keeping provisions and meet minimum and overtime wage requirements.


Three La Mojarra Loca restaurant locations in Las Vegas paid over $150,000 in overtime back wages and damages to 33 employees after the Department of Labor found that the company paid workers a flat salary “regardless of how many hours they worked.”


And, the owners of Little Big Burger reached a consent judgment with the Department of Labor after an investigation found that the company required employees at 14 of its locations to share tips with managers, which is prohibited under the FLSA. The employers paid back $148,248 in tips that were illegally withheld and an equal amount in damages to roughly 600 employees.


If you have been a victim of wage theft or have questions about your rights as a restaurant worker, contact the attorneys of Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 30 million dollars for restaurant workers who have been victims of wage theft.

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