U.S. Department of Labor Finds North Carolina Restaurant Violated Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws
FUQUAY-VARINA, NC – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), He’s Group Inc. – operating as King Chinese Buffet in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina – will pay $45,077 in back wages and liquidated damages to eight employees for violating the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found King Chinese Buffet paid kitchen staff flat salaries without regard to the number of hours that they actually worked. This practice led to minimum wage violations when those salaries failed to cover all of the hours they worked at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime violations when the employer failed to pay these employees time and one-half when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Investigators also found the employer allowed a wait staff employee to work for tips only, with no wages paid by the employer; made deductions from employees’ pay for recruitment and transportation fees that caused their pay to dip below minimum wage; and failed to maintain records of the number of hours worked by employees.
“Employers must pay workers the wages they have legally earned. These employees worked six days per week, often 12 hours per day,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work to level the playing field so employers that follow the rules aren’t at an economic disadvantage to those that don’t. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for guidance, and to use the wide variety of tools we provide to help them comply with the law and avoid violations like those found in this case.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
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). 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.
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.