Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
MIAMI -- Melbourne-based PDQ Pizza, doing business as Domino’s Pizza, has paid 401 employees $371,675 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions. The franchisee has 19 locations in Palm Beach, Indian River and Brevard counties.
“The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers who, due to a lack of knowledge of the law, are vulnerable to disparate treatment and labor violations,” said James Schmidt, acting director of the division’s Miami District Office, which conducted the investigation. “The Wage and Hour Division has an ongoing enforcement initiative in Florida as well as in other states to remedy widespread noncompliance in the restaurant industry. Our goal is to protect workers and ensure a level playing field for honest employers who follow the law and pay their employees fair wages.”
Investigators found systemic violations resulting from the company’s failure to properly compensate tip-earning employees, such as delivery drivers, for all of their hours worked. Even when performing nontipped duties such as cooking, cleaning and stocking, the workers were paid as if they were tipped employees, with hourly wage rates as low as $5.15 rather than the required federal minimum wage of $7.25. The employer also made illegal deductions from employees’ wages for uniforms, and failed to properly calculate and compensate tipped employees for all overtime hours (those worked in excess of 40 in a week). Finally, the employer failed to record and designate hours worked as tipped or nontipped in order to pay employees correctly, which violates the FLSA’s record-keeping provisions.
Following the investigations, PDQ Pizza paid all back wages owed and agreed to maintain future compliance with the FLSA. The company also committed to changing its timekeeping and payroll practices to ensure that all hours worked by tipped and nontipped employees are properly recorded and compensated in accordance with the FLSA.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In accordance with the FLSA, an employer of a tipped employee is required to pay at least $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 does not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Employers also are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA tip credit provisions, to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and to comply with restrictions applying to workers under age 18.
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 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 https://sites.google.com/site/eatshopsleepdol.
The Labor Department has developed a smartphone app to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users can track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps, the app allows workers to keep their own records instead of having to rely on their employers’ records.
The division’s Miami office can be reached at 305-598-6607. Information on the FLSA and other wage laws is available by calling the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) and at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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