According to HRMorning.com, restaurant chain San Jose Mexican has been found guilty of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and must pay a total of $511,745 in back wages to 125 of its employees.
The Department of Labor (DOL)’s investigation uncovered 10 of the San Jose Mexican Restaurant locations in North Carolina were actively committing the following FLSA violations:
- Compensating employees a fixed salary rather than the actual number of hours they actually worked, which has allowed San Jose Mexican to pay workers less than the federal minimum wage for every hour worked.
- Refusing to pay employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
- Requiring wait staff to work only for tips, thus causing minimum wage and overtime violations.
- Decreasing workers’ pay even lower than minimum wage by requiring employees pay for their own mandatory uniforms.
- Failing to maintain proper payroll and timesheet records, as well as fabricating payroll documents.
The FLSA has put into place a number of measures Americans take for granted today: a national minimum wage, guaranteed time and a half for overtime in certain jobs, workplace safety standards, record keeping, and equal pay for equal work. As one might tell, the FLSA covers a wide range of employment laws that have been debated and refined by lawmakers and citizens for decades. While the FLSA may appear to disempower companies, the laws were partly responsible for getting the U.S. out of the Great Depression and back on track to becoming the great nation it is today.
“The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers, who are often vulnerable to disparate treatment and wage violations. Failure to pay these workers the wages they have worked long hours to earn hurts them and their families, and it provides a competitive advantage over law-abiding employers. Enforcement actions like these should motivate all North Carolina restaurant owners to follow the law and provide a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work to all employees,” Richard Blaylock, DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s Raleigh district director, said in a press release
The following San Jose Mexican Restaurant locations are involved in the DOL’s FLSA investigation:
- San Jose Mexican Restaurant Elizabethtown Inc., Elizabethtown
- San Jose Mexican Restaurant of Lumberton Inc., Lumberton
- San Jose Mexican Restaurant No. 2 of Lumberton Inc., Lumberton
- San Jose Mexican Restaurant of Pembroke Inc., Pembroke
- San Jose of Roanoke Rapids Inc., Roanoke Rapids
- San Jose Flores Inc., Rocky Mount
- San Jose Restaurant Inc., Wilson
- San Jose of Zebulon Inc., Zebulon
- Flores Restaurant Inc., Whiteville, and
- San Jose Mexican Restaurant of Raleigh.
To learn more on the FLSA and whether your labor rights are being violated, visit the DOL’s website at www.DOL.gov.