News Brief

US Department of Labor finds Arkansas restaurants’ operator illegally fired worker who used federally protected medical leave

Recovers more than $11K in back wages for wrongfully terminated worker

Employer name:               Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant Inc., operating as El Lorito 

Investigation sites:         3105 S 70th St. 

                                                  Fort Smith, AR 72903                                     

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the operator of nine Arkansas restaurants failed to reinstate an employee to the same or an equivalent position after they returned from family and medical leave. The employer later terminated the worker who refused to report to another restaurant location in another town miles away. The division determined the employer owed the former employee lost hourly wages and wages from tips for the more than five months they spent obtaining another job.

Back wages recovered:  $11,706

Civil money penalties: $204 in penalties for the violations                                        

Quote: “An employer’s compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act is never optional. An employee eligible for this protected leave must be allowed to exercise their right to use it without fear of losing their job,” said Wage and Hour District Director Hanz Grünauer in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees’ rights are protected and will use all available remedies when violations are found.”

Lea en Español

Wage and Hour Division
May 7, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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