Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Dallas area restaurants agree to pay more than $188,000 in back wages following a US Department of Labor investigation
DALLAS -- Four restaurants in the Dallas area have agreed to pay $188,970 in back wages to 61 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that uncovered violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions. The restaurants are Yes Buffet, Grand Prairie; Crown Buffet and Win Chinese Buffet, Dallas; and Royal Buffet, Rowlett.
“The owners of these restaurants profited from the labor of their employees, who worked between 55 and 60 hours a week without receiving at least the legally required minimum wage and overtime compensation,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest paid workers, who are vulnerable to exploitation. We will continue our effort to promote awareness and compliance in this industry, and we advise other employers in the restaurant industry to take notice and comply with the law.”
The investigations revealed that the restaurants’ operators violated the FLSA when they failed to compensate workers at time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek and failed to record, report and pay for all hours worked by their employees. The restaurant operators violated the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA by paying a salary to a nonexempt employee that did not satisfy the federally required minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, for all hours worked. The firms also failed to ensure that a tipped employee earned at least minimum wage.
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 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 tip credit provisions, to maintain accurate time and payroll records and to comply with the hours, hazardous orders and other restrictions applying to workers under age 18.
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 or the division’s Dallas office at 817-861-2150. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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