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U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in U.S. District Court Ordering Oklahoma Restaurant to Pay $335,687 in Back Wages and Liquidated Damages
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ordered Meers Store & Restaurant Inc. and owner Margaret Maranto to pay $335,687 in back wages and liquidated damages to 84 employees for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court also found the employer to be in violation of the FLSA’s child labor provisions, and granted a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from violating any of the provisions of the FLSA in the future. A $42,190 civil money penalty has also been assessed.
WHD investigators found the company and Maranto failed to pay minimum wages to certain employees, failed to pay overtime compensation, and failed to comply with child labor provisions. WHD determined that the company and Maranto failed to pay wages to table bussers, most of them minors, who were forced to work for tips alone. When employees worked beyond 40 hours in a week, the defendants failed to pay overtime at time-and-one-half and instead compensated them at their regular rate of pay. The company also failed to keep required records.
“Employees are entitled to receive all wages they have legally earned, and minors deserve the workplace protections put in place for them by law,” said Betty Campbell, Wage and Hour Division Administrator. “This case demonstrates the Department of Labor’s commitment not only to workers, but also to providing employers the tools they need to comply with the law. Our work levels the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Docket No.: 5:15-cv-01378-D