U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds South Carolina Restaurant Violated Federal Wage and Child Labor Laws
SIMPSONVILLE, SC – Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Mojitos LLC – a restaurant operating as Mad Cuban Café in Simpsonville, South Carolina – has paid $12,587 in back wages to 12 employees after violating the overtime, tip retention, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employer also paid a civil money penalty of $336 for child labor violations.
WHD investigators determined the restaurant paid employees overtime only when they exceeded 80 hours in a bi-weekly period, instead of after working 40 hours in one week, as the law requires. Investigators also found the employer kept tipped employees’ cash and credit card tips, in violation of the FLSA’s prohibition on managers and supervisors keeping or sharing in employees’ tips. Additionally, the employer violated the FLSA child labor requirements by employing a minor under the age of 16 to work more than three hours on school days, more than 18 hours during school weeks, and past 7 p.m. between Labor Day and May 31. WHD also found Mad Cuban Café failed to maintain complete records of the number of hours employees worked, resulting in recordkeeping violations.
“Employers must ensure that employees receive all wages they have rightfully earned, and they must strictly adhere to the requirements of the child labor laws,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel, in Columbia, South Carolina. “The child labor restrictions in the law exist to ensure that young workers enjoy a safe work experience, and that their employment does not interfere with their education. The U.S. Department of Labor encourages all employers and employees to contact us if they have questions about tips, overtime or work rules for minor employees.”
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/agencies/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.