Sioux Falls buffet restaurant’s wage violations lead US Department of Labor to recover $279K in overtime back wages, damages for 31 workers
SIOUX FALLS, SD – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $279,070 in back wages and liquidated damages from a Sioux Falls buffet restaurant that paid kitchen workers a flat monthly salary and denied them overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet – operated by H & G Inc. – failed to pay 31 workers overtime wages when required, did not keep accurate records of hours worked or employees’ full names and addresses, and failed to post the required poster, all violations Fair Labor Standards Act.
“H & G Inc. denied 31 kitchen workers their full wages and hurt these workers and their families by making it more difficult for them to make ends meet,” explained Wage and Hour District Director Chad Frasier in Denver. “The Wage and Hour Division knows violations like these are all too common in the restaurant industry, and we leverage resources – such as working cooperatively with advocacy groups – to bring employers into compliance and ensure workers’ rights and benefits are protected under the law.”
In addition to paying back wages, H & G agreed to conduct internal bi-annual compliance audits and to provide ongoing training on federal wage laws to managers and workers.
In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $34.7 million for more than 29,000 food service workers, in an industry ranked first among the division’s “low wage, high violation” employers.
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data projects more than 1.4 million job openings in the accommodation and food services industry and about 883,000 workers quit their jobs in September 2022. In this environment, employers must be highly competitive to keep and attract workers.
The department’s Quick Service Restaurants Compliance Assistance Toolkit explains wage laws for the industry.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’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. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.