ORLANDO, FL – A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered $120,695 in back wages for 24 employees after an Orlando franchisee of a Chicago-based pizza franchise denied the workers overtime wages and paid servers only in tips. The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Sand Lake Pizzeria LLC, operator of a Giordano’s Pizza franchise location, did not pay servers a time-and-one-half rate for all hours over 40 in a workweek and made servers work for only tips with no cash wage, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also failed to keep complete time and payroll records, another FLSA violation. “The operator of this Giordano’s franchise deprived employees of their rightful pay, making it much harder for them to support themselves,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “We can’t give them time back, but the $120,695 in wages the department recovered for these workers will go a long way toward making them whole.” The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked – and in Florida the minimum cash wage for tipped workers is currently $7.98 – and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek.During the investigation, the employer told the division they contracted a third-party service provider to manage payroll functions and claimed the provider did not raise concerns about the employer’s pay practices.“Often employers use payroll services for their businesses, but when that’s the case, employers are ultimately responsible for making certain workers are getting paid correctly,” De Jesús added. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages all employers to use the free, online tools we offer to help them comply with the law or to call us for assistance.” Founded in Chicago in 1974, Giordano’s is a franchise network of restaurants featuring pizza at 64 locations operating in nine states, including Florida.Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of where they are from. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Also, download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Apple and Android phones – free and now available in Spanish – to track hours and pay.Read this news release En Español. 

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