Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Employees of 2 Louisville, Ky., restaurants to receive more than $90,000 in back wages following US Department of Labor investigation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville Irish LLC, owner of Sully’s Restaurant and Saloon and Maker’s Mark Restaurant and Saloon in Louisville, has agreed to pay $90,840 in back wages to 53 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found the company failed to correctly pay tipped employees as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A Wage and Hour Division investigator found that the company failed to pay tipped employees the federal minimum wage for attendance at required meetings and to pay employees for actual hours worked as recorded on timesheets. In addition, tipped employees were not paid time and one-half for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week, some tipped employees were paid at an incorrect wage rate, and accurate records were not kept of tips received by employees or the tip credit taken. Employees also were required to purchase work outfits, which brought their earnings below the federal minimum wage. Furthermore, the company employed some individuals who were not listed on the payroll and received only tips for their pay; salaried nonexempt cooks did not receive overtime compensation when they worked more than 40 hours in a week; and the company failed to display FLSA posters as required.
“Restaurant employees are typically low-wage workers who have few alternatives when an employer fails to follow federal labor laws,” said Karen Garnett, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Louisville District Office. “The Labor Department has zero tolerance for non-compliance with the laws that protect these vulnerable workers, and is working to eliminate all such violations in Kentucky and throughout the country.”
The company has agreed to pay the back wages for the time covered by the investigation, 2008 to 2010, and to comply in the future with all federal labor laws, including displaying all required posters.
This investigation is part of the Wage and Hour Division’s focus on restaurants in Kentucky to ensure that low-wage workers’ rights are protected and employers are adhering to federal rules concerning the minimum wage, overtime and child labor. Besides conducting investigations, Labor Department officials are also committed to informing workers of their rights under federal labor law, and meeting with employer organizations, community groups, state investigators and local officials to enlist their cooperation in improving compliance with wage laws. These efforts benefit the majority of employers who are meeting their legal responsibilities to their workers by ensuring that unscrupulous businesses cannot undercut their competition through illegal practices.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA permits an employer to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (which must be at least $2.13) and the federal minimum wage. Thus, the maximum tip credit that an employer can currently claim under the FLSA is $5.12 per hour. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about this case, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Louisville office at 502-582-5226. Information on FLSA rules is available through the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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