Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Superior Bar & Grill Inc. in Shreveport has agreed to pay $83,569 in back wages to 43 current and former waiters, bussers and bartenders following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“This company profited from allowing employees to work without properly paying them,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Several illegal practices resulted in workers being paid less than the federal minimum wage.”
An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office found that the company required employees to pay for “walk-outs” (customers who place orders but leave without paying for them) and incorrect customer orders, and failed to compensate employees for all hours worked, all of which resulted in wages falling below the federal minimum wage. Furthermore, employees were not properly compensated for overtime hours worked, and required record keeping was not maintained.
The FLSA requires payment of at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 to covered, nonexempt employees for all hours worked. It also requires that employees receive time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.
An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if 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, deductions for walk-outs, breakage or cash register shortages are illegal if they reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Superior Bar & Grill, a full service restaurant, cooperated with the investigation and has paid all back wages due. The employer also agreed to properly pay tipped employees for all hours worked, with no deductions, and ensure that all employees who are nonexempt from the FLSA are paid overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its New Orleans office at 504-589-6171. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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