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News Release

Uncle Bear's Grill & Bar in Phoenix will pay employees more than $115K in overtime back wages

Business to pay penalty for willful violations

PHOENIX — Uncle Bear's Grill & Bar eateries will pay a total of $115,252 in overtime back wages to 54 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. The investigation included locations in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise.

The division's Phoenix District Office found that Uncle Bear's Grill & Bar failed to pay overtime wages for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Some employees regularly worked as many as 60 hours per week. The employer's payroll program correctly calculated employees' wages and overtime, but for restaurant cooks, the employer ignored the system. These employees were paid straight time for all hours worked, and received paystubs that did not include hours of work, which made it difficult for them to determine how they were paid. The Wage and Hour Division assessed a $14,960 penalty against Uncle Bear's Grill & Bar because of the willful nature of the violations.

"The violations affected workers' wages, and many were shorted as much as $300 per month. These workers put in long hours to make a living for their families. This money could have been used to put food on their table or pay rent," said Eric Murray, the division's district director in Phoenix. "The Wage and Hour Division is committed to compliance in the restaurant industry and will use every available tool to ensure workers receive the wages they have earned."

The Fair Labor Standards Act 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, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records. In addition, there are limitations on hours and hazardous equipment prohibitions for minors under the age of 18.

For additional information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at

  • Read this news release in Spanish.

Wage and Hour Division
December 16, 2014
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali