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News Brief

Nashville restaurant, owners agree to pay $175K to 44 employees to resolve federal allegations of minimum wage, overtime violations

Employer name: Los Arcos Seafood & Grill Inc., doing business as Los Arcos Mexican Grill & Seafood Jose Gutierrez, Jr.
Martin Romo

Investigation site: 3798 Nolensville Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37211

Investigation findings: Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Los Arcos Mexican Grill & Seafood violated minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employees were working as cooks, dishwashers and servers. Their employer paid the workers a salary for all hours worked, but not overtime for hours beyond 40 in a workweek as required. In some pay periods, the parties involved did not pay employees the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The department filed a complaint on Nov. 1, 2012, in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against Los Arcos Mexican Grill & Seafood and owners Jose Gutierrez, Jr., and Martin Romo. Gutierrez and Romo were subject to a prior injunction issued in September 2009 that required compliance with the FLSA.

Resolution: On April 13, 2016, a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, approved a consent judgment between the department and Los Arcos Mexican Grill & Seafood, Gutierrez and Romo. As a result, Los Arcos and its owners will pay 44 employees a total of $175,000, which include back wages and liquidated damages. The judgment also requires Gutierrez and Romo to hire a consultant to audit their restaurants for three years and submit quarterly reports to the division. Additionally, the owners have agreed to provide current and prospective hires with information on the FLSA and to purchase an ad in a local Hispanic newspaper regarding compliance with the FLSA. The division’s Nashville District Office conducted the investigation and the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in Nashville litigated the case.

Quote: “The outcome of our investigation of Los Arcos Mexican Grill & Seafood and its owners demonstrates that the underpayment of employees’ wages is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. The U.S. Department of Labor will use all available tools, including litigation, to identify and root out such labor violations and make whole the affected workers,” said Nettie Lewis, director of the division’s Nashville District Office. “The violations found in this investigation are unfortunate and all too common in the restaurant industry. We will continue our industry enforcement effort to protect workers’ rights and the interests of employers that obey the law and face unfair competition from those who do not.”

For more information about the FLSA and wage laws or to file a complaint, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243); the Nashville District Office at 615-781-5344 or visit

Read this news release en españól.

Wage and Hour Division
April 18, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Media Contact: Lindsay Williams
Phone Number