KALAMAZOO, MI – Three Kalamazoo, Michigan-area restaurants under joint ownership have paid $225,000 in back wages to 82 employees after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In a consent judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan has ordered the three restaurants and Francisco Hernandez, Felipe Ortiz, Rosa Bravo, Juan Carlos Ortiz and Marcos Macias Jr. – the restaurants’ owners – to pay the back wages after a WHD investigation. Investigators found minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping violations at Los Amigos of Kalamazoo Inc., and Los Amigos Grill Inc., operating as Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, both located in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and at Riviera Maya Inc., operating as Riviera Maya Bar and Grill in Portage, Michigan.
“Employers that violate federal wage laws must be held accountable for accurately paying employees and maintaining records as required by the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Mary O’Rourke in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “We encourage other employers to use the resolution of this case as an opportunity to review their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law and to contact WHD to better understand their responsibilities so that they can avoid similar violations.”
WHD found the company violated the FLSA by paying employees fixed salaries, regardless of the number of hours that they worked. This practice resulted in violations when those salaries failed to cover minimum wage for all the hours employees worked, and when they failed to pay overtime when those hours exceeded 40 in a workweek. The employer also failed to record any earnings for tipped employees or pay tipped employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain records of the number of hours employees worked, and the amounts paid to employees.
WHD will distribute payments to individual workers. Employees who believe they are due back wages should contact the WHD office in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 616-456-2004.
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, or confidential calls to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
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