News Brief

Department of Labor recovers $172K for 21 restaurant workers after investigation finds Richmond restaurant denied overtime wages


Chicanos Inc., operating as Chicanos Cocina Bar and Grill

Investigation site:                  

523 E. Main St., Richmond, VA

Findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer’s pay practices violated federal regulations, including their failure to pay non-exempt kitchen salaried employees an overtime premium for hours over 40 in a workweek. The division also determined Chicano’s Inc. failed to compensate tipped employees at the correct overtime premium for hours over 40 in a workweek. Additionally, the employer also failed to maintain accurate records as required. A total of 21 workers are owed wages and damages.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Back wages and damages recovered:          $86,196 in owed wages/$86,196 in liquidated damages

Quote: “People employed in the restaurant industry are often low-wage workers who depend on every dollar earned, including overtime pay, to help support themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour District Director Roberto Melendez in Richmond, Virginia. “When employers violate the rights of workers to be paid their full earnings, the U.S. Department of Labor will act to recover the wages illegally withheld.”

Background:  Employers are encouraged to visit our website and learn how to properly record and pay employees for all hours worked. Learn more by reading “What Employers Should Know about Compensable Hours Worked under The Fair Labor Standards Act.

Workers can use the Wage and Hour Division’s Workers Owed Wages search tool to check if they are owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can contact the division confidentially for help at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from. The division can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including the agency’s restaurant compliance assistance toolkit and an overview of FLSA protections for restaurant workers. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.

Wage and Hour Division
July 10, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins
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