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News Brief

Rhode Island restaurant chain to pay over $100K in wages, damages to 32 underpaid employees following US Labor Department investigation

Cilantro Mexican Grill also pays civil money penalty for child labor violations

Employer name: CMG Holding Company, LLC d/b/a/ Cilantro Mexican Grill.

Investigation sites: 1255 Reservoir Ave., Cranston; 127 Weybosset St, Providence; 430 Newport Ave, Rumford;1650 Mineral Spring Ave, Providence; 166 JT Connell Highway, Newport; 712 Center of New England Boulevard, Coventry; 1759 Post Road, Warwick.

Investigation findings: The restaurants paid cooks and servers straight time instead of legally required time and a half when they worked beyond 40 hours in a work week. This was done in a variety of ways, among them: entering the overtime hours under a different payroll code; not combining hours worked when employees worked at more than one location in a work week to determine if overtime was due; and paying straight time for overtime in cash. These actions violated the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Additionally, the company employed three minors, one age 16 and two age 17, working at the Cranston and North Providence locations, who were using their own vehicles to make food deliveries in violation of the child labor provisions of the FLSA. This investigation was part of an ongoing enforcement initiative by the Wage and Hour Division's Hartford district office to improve compliance in the Connecticut and Rhode Island restaurant industry.

Results: CMG Holding Company, LLC is paying $100,417 ($50,208 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages) to 32 employees. It has ceased the practice of employing minors to drive and paid a civil money penalty assessed for the child labor violation.

Quote: "While Cilantro Mexican Grill took action to correct its violations, they should not have occurred in the first place. Rhode Island employers must realize that underpaying workers harms not only the workers but also places at a competitive disadvantage those employers who obey the law. They must also understand that illegally employing minors in potentially risky jobs that are prohibited by the child labor laws needlessly places young workers at risk of injury, and will not be tolerated." said Michelle Garvey, the division's district director for Rhode Island and Connecticut.

For more information on federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the department's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the agency's Web site at

Wage and Hour Division
March 31, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Media Contact: Andre Bowser
Phone Number