DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in 11 Louisiana Restaurants Paying $461,754 in Back Wages, Damages to 141 Employees

By Press release submission | May 6, 2019

US Department Labor issued the following announcement on May 2.

After investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the owners and operators of a family of 11 restaurants with common ownership in Louisiana have paid $230,877 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 141 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements.

WHD investigators found the restaurants violated FLSA overtime requirements when they paid flat salaries or day rates to employees without regard to the number of hours that they actually worked. These practices resulted in violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week, but were not paid overtime. Additional overtime violations resulted when the restaurants paid tipped employees overtime based on time-and-one-half their direct cash wages of $2.13 per hour instead of basing their overtime on the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as required.

Minimum wage violations resulted when the employer made deductions from employees’ wages for cash register shortages and the cost of required uniforms. The employer also failed to pay some employees for all the hours that they worked, and paid some kitchen staff salaries that failed to cover all of their hours at the minimum wage. Recordkeeping violations resulted when the restaurants failed to keep accurate time and payroll records, as required by law.

“The violations found in these investigations are avoidable,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton, in New Orleans. “The resolution of these cases should remind employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with federal law. We encourage employers to call us, confidentially, for information about the FLSA or any of the other laws we enforce.”

The restaurants included in the investigations are Albasha Greek & Lebanese Café Nene LLC in Covington, Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant NENF LLC in Hammond; Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant Inc. in Baton Rouge, Albasha Greek and Lebanese Cafe Lebanon Inc. in Baton Rouge, Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant - Slidell NENMS LLC in Slidell, Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant-Metairie NENAL LLC in Metairie, Casa Maria NNMK LLC in Gonzales, Casa Maria Mexican Grill CASA NNMK LLC in Denham Springs, Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant BKBS Inc. in Brusly, Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant HAWA LLC in Prairieville, and Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant WADI Inc. in Baton Rouge.

Original source can be found here.

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