News Release

US Department of Labor investigation finds Gulf Breeze restaurant denied sushi chefs overtime, violated child labor laws

Recovers $26K for 10 workers, assesses Fred Flounder Inc. $5K in penalties

GULF BREEZE, FL A federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor at a Gulf Breeze restaurant found several pay practice and child labor violations, including the failure to pay sushi chefs overtime wages due and the employment of 15-year-old workers for more hours per week than the law allows.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Fred Flounder Inc. – operating as Flounder’s Chowder House – violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor, overtime and recordkeeping provisions by doing the following:

The division investigation led to the recovery of $26,776 in back wages for the 10 chefs, and an assessment of $5,138 in civil money penalties to Flounder’s Chowder House to address the child labor violations.

“Employers must ensure that federal labor law is correctly applied and that workers are not shortchanged as the result of a misapplication of the law. Any employer who employs minors absolutely must take the time to review the requirements and restrictions regarding youth employment or face the possibility of costly penalties,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “The violations found in this investigation and the penalties they carry could have been avoided. We encourage employers and workers to contact the Wage and Hour Division with their questions about federal employment laws.

In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southeast region found child labor violations in more than 190 food service employers investigated, resulting in more than $1 million in penalties assessed to employers.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s 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. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.

Wage and Hour Division
July 25, 2022
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Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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