U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Moline, Illinois, Restaurant Paying $78,970 in Back Wages to 33 Employees for Wage, Overtime Violations
MOLINE, IL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Osaka Steak House Sushi & Hibachi Inc. – doing business as Osaka Buffet in Moline, Illinois – will pay $78,970 in back wages to 33 current and former employees for violations of the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.
WHD investigators found that the employer paid all employees flat weekly salaries, regardless of job type or the number of hours they worked in a workweek. In some instances, those salaries failed to cover all the hours that employees worked at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Overtime violations occurred when the employer failed to pay overtime when these employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Osaka Buffet also failed to maintain records of the number of hours employees worked and wage payments made to individual employees by both cash and check.
"Employers must pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned, and are required to maintain records of payments made to them – including those made in cash," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jim Yochim, in St. Louis, Missouri. "Simply because a pay practice may appear to be common in an industry does not mean that it is legal. Other employers should use this investigation as an opportunity to review their own practices to ensure they comply with the law. We encourage them to contact us for assistance in understanding their responsibilities so that they can avoid violations like those found in this case."
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.
WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act, and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.