U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Popular Seattle Restaurant Paying $419,459 in Back Wages, Damages
SEATTLE, WA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Tacos Chukis – a restaurant with four locations in Seattle, Washington – has paid $419,459 to 92 employees to resolve violations of overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found Tacos Chukis failed to pay employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Specifically, investigators found that the restaurant failed to combine hours that individual employees worked at multiple work sites during the workweek when determining whether they had worked overtime. Additionally, when employees worked more than 40 hours at a single location, Tacos Chukis artificially divided those hours to make it appear as if employee had worked the hours at two separate locations. The employer then paid for those hours separately, all at straight-time rates.
“Employers are required to pay their employees the wages they have legally earned for all the hours that they work, including overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle, Washington. “Other employers, especially those with multiple locations, should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to review their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law.”
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.
The mission of WHD 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.