Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Raleigh, NC, agrees to pay more than $68,000 in back wages to 18 workers following US Department of Labor investigation
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Raleigh has agreed to pay $68,482 in back wages to 18 workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and minimum wage provisions.
Investigators determined that the employer paid kitchen staff “straight time” rates for overtime hours– those beyond 40 in a workweek– rather than time and one-half the employees’ regular rates as required. Additionally, the employer improperly calculated overtime for tipped employees. Finally, the employer failed to pay some employees for all hours worked, which resulted in minimum wage violations.
“Employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked, including overtime,” said Richard Blaylock, director of the division’s Raleigh District Office. “Workers in the restaurant industry are among the most vulnerable in this country, and the Labor Department will not tolerate their exploitation. This case should serve as a notice to other employers who may not be paying their employees in accordance with federal law.”
The employer has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future, correct all violations identified by this investigation and pay the back wages owed in full.
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 of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In accordance with the FLSA, 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. Employers also are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA’s tip credit provisions, to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and to comply with restrictions applying to workers under 18.
The department has a smart phone application 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. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This and other Labor Department apps are available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps.
The division’s Raleigh office can be reached at 919-790-2742. Information on the FLSA and other wage laws is available by calling the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or by visiting http://www.dol.gov/whd.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.