Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
PITTSBURGH -- Point Brugge Café, a full-service restaurant in Pittsburgh, has paid $37,719 in back wages to 39 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division identified violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage provisions.
Investigators found that the employer violated the FLSA by requiring tipped employees to repay register shortages, which resulted in their pay falling below the federal minimum wage. The employer also failed to reimburse servers for tips that they were illegally required to pay out to dishwashers, a nontipped occupation.
“Unfortunately, labor violations like the ones we found in this case are all too common in the restaurant industry,” said John DuMont, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Pittsburgh District Office. “We are pleased that these workers have been paid their rightful wages and remain committed to protecting vulnerable employees.”
The back wages owed have been paid in full. The company has agreed to comply with all federal labor laws in the future.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Where deductions for walk-outs, breakage, or cash register shortages reduce an employee’s wages below the minimum wage, such deductions are illegal. An employer of a tipped employee is required to pay no less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages provided that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Additionally, tip pool arrangements may not include employees who do not customarily and regularly received tips, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs and janitors. Employers also are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA tip credit provisions and to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. Publicly available enforcement data are also available through the free mobile application “Eat Shop Sleep,” which enables consumers, employees and other members of the public to check if a hotel, restaurant or retail location has been investigated by the Wage and Hour Division, and whether FLSA violations were found. The app is available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps/winners.htm.
For more information about the FLSA’s requirements, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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