US Department of Labor recovers $163K in back wages, damages after investigation finds California restaurant willfully violated overtime rules
SACRAMENTO – While workers at a northern California restaurant worked hard to satisfy customers and keep the business operating throughout the pandemic, their employer intentionally failed to pay overtime wages when required, leading to costly consequences for the restaurant’s owner.
A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found Lido Bar & Grill, in Carmichael, failed to record all hours employees worked and failed to pay overtime as required by federal law. They either paid the cooks a salary with no overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek or paid overtime hours in cash at straight-time rates.
The investigation led to the division’s recovery of $81,577 in overtime back wages and $81,577 in liquidated damages for seven workers. The division also assessed $4,067 in civil penalties against the employer to address the willful nature of their violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Restaurant workers provide essential services for the public and support their local economies. Paying workers a salary does not relieve employers of their overtime pay obligations when employees work more than 40 hours in a week,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Patricia Canites in Sacramento, California. “Overtime pay violations are all too common in the restaurant industry, and the U.S. Department of Labor is committed to using all tools available – including litigation – against employers who violate the law willfully, hurt workers and their families, and take an unlawful advantage of their competitors that abide by the law.”
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.