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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Louisiana Restaurant Paying Back Wages to 34 Employees

WEST MONROE, LA – West Monroe LLC, operator of Café Rawz in West Monroe, Louisiana, has agreed to pay $69,178 in back wages to 34 employees to resolve overtime, minimum wage, and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found in a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation.

WHD investigators found that West Monroe LLC failed to pay tipped employees at least $2.13 per hour in direct wages, as the law requires. Instead, employees worked only for tips. This violation of the FLSA's "tip credit" provisions, which allow an employer to take credit for an employee's tips toward their minimum wage obligations, resulted in the employer owing affected employees the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for every hour they had worked. Investigators also found that the employer paid food runners and bussers flat salaries, without regard to the number of hours that they worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when these employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek and the company failed to pay them overtime. Investigators also found FLSA recordkeeping violations resulting from the restaurant's failure to track all of the hours employees worked, and to maintain payroll records for a two year period.

"The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring employees receive all the wages they have rightfully earned," said Wage and Hour Division New Orleans District Director Troy Mouton. "Employers can avoid wage violations by reaching out to us for assistance and to ensure they are in compliance with the law. The Department urges employers to contact their local Wage and Hour office and to make use of the many tools we provide to help them understand their obligations."

Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program.  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).

Wage and Hour Division
July 12, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez