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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-1460-KAN

Date: 

Aug. 6, 2012

Contact: 

Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

Phone: 

(312) 353-6976

Las Lomas Mexican Restaurant pays more than $60,000 in back wages to 8 workers following US Labor Department investigation


Various FLSA violations found at Muscatine, Iowa, establishment

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $60,234 in back wages for eight employees of Las Lomas Mexican Restaurant in Muscatine following an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that disclosed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions.

A team of Spanish-speaking investigators from the division’s Des Moines District Office conducted employee interviews and reviewed time and payroll records to determine FLSA compliance. The investigators found that the restaurant paid some workers – including wait staff, cooks and dishwashers – “straight time” wages, which did not equal at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and did not include overtime pay for hours beyond 40 in a week.

“Some of these employees were paid as little as $200 a week for 75 hours of labor,” said Michael Staebell, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Des Moines office. “We are committed to protecting the many vulnerable workers employed in the restaurant industry and, as demonstrated by the resolution of this case, will vigorously pursue violators to ensure compliance with the law.”

All back wages owed have been paid in full, and the company has taken steps to come into compliance with wage regulations by installing a time clock and keeping accurate pay records. Las Lomas Mexican Restaurant is operated by Juan Inc. and has several locations throughout Iowa.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for hours worked over 40 per week. Additionally, accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment must be maintained.

Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. Publicly available enforcement data also are available through the free mobile application “Eat Shop Sleep,” which enables consumers, employees and other members of the public to check if a hotel, restaurant or retail location has been investigated by the Wage and Hour Division, and whether FLSA violations were found. The app is available at https://sites.google.com/site/eatshopsleepdol.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.