Florida Restaurant Chain to Pay $314,553 in Back Wages After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Overtime, Tip Violations At Six Locations
DAVIE, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Pho 79 – a restaurant chain based in Davie, Florida – will pay $314,553 in back wages to 65 employees for violating overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined Pho 79 paid cooks, dishwashers and kitchen helpers a flat daily rate or weekly salary regardless of the number of hours they worked. In doing so, the employer violated the FLSA when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek and the employer failed to pay them overtime. Pho 79 also illegally diverted all gratuities to the restaurant – failing to give employees any of the tips – and violating a provision of the FLSA that prohibits an employer from keeping employees’ tips. WHD also found Pho 79 failed to maintain an accurate record of the number of hours employees worked, to keep a record of employees’ contact information, and to display a FLSA minimum wage poster in each establishment, all required by law.
“Employers may not keep tips received by employees,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Tony Pham, in Miami, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division will continue working to ensure that workers receive all the wages they have legally earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field. We encourage all employers to reach out to us and to use the variety of tools we offer to ensure that their pay practices comply with federal labor laws.”
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.