Consumer Fraud

Missouri restaurant pays back wages and penalties for FLSA violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has cited a Missouri restaurant with numerous violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a report in the Bolivar Herald-Free Press.

Smith’s restaurant in Bolivar will pay more than $36,000 in fines and back wages stemming from its violations of the FLSA’s overtime, minimum wage, and child labor regulations. $34,625 of the money recovered by the Wage and Hour Division will compensate 54 employees for back wages.

Investigators found the restaurant had violated minimum wage laws by skimming money from the servers’ hourly pay to compensate bus staff. The restaurant also paid regular wages to ten hourly employees for time worked over 40 hours per workweek, which constitutes a violation of the FLSA standards for overtime pay.

The restaurant had to pay nearly $1,500 in penalties to the Labor Department for allowing employees under 18 years old to work more than three hours on school days and past 9 p.m. during the summer.  The FLSA prohibits workers under age 18 from working more than three hours on school days (18 hours per week) and eight hours on days with no school (40 hours per week). Minors may not work work later than 7 p.m. when school is in session or 9 p.m. during summer break.

The restaurant has cooperated fully with the Department of Labor, reports the Bolivar Herald-Free Press.

“The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division is committed to protecting the rights of workers by ensuring that they receive the wages to which they are entitled,” James Koren, Kansas City district director of the Wage and Hour Division, told the Bolivar Herald-Free Press.

“Also, the department’s child labor provisions serve to strike a balance among providing invaluable work experience to our nation’s youth, safety and educational responsibilities,” he said.