MANCHESTER, NH – Two Nashua restaurants learned that paying flat salaries to its workers doesn’t waive their responsibility to pay overtime when those employees work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Doing so violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, and resulted in the back wages found due in a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation.
The division recovered $108,043 in back wages for 17 employees and cited Lilac Blossom North and Lilac Blossom South for violations of the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Investigators found the employer paid cooks and bussers flat salaries, regardless of the number of hours they worked per week. By paying flat salaries, the employer failed to pay overtime when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, in violation of federal law. The division also found the employer violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements when it failed to record the number of hours employees worked, including time some employees spent transporting other workers to and from employer-provided housing.
In addition, the employer violated the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements when it failed to provide a final paycheck to one employee at its Lilac Blossom South location.
“Simply paying someone a salary doesn’t mean they are exempt from overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Most employees, even those paid a fixed salary or flat amount per day or shift, are entitled to overtime unless a specific exemption applies. Workers deserve to take home every penny they have earned, and other employers should use this case as an opportunity to review their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law.”
The division 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 and confidential calls to local Wage and Hour Division offices. Learn more about the FLSA. Contact the Wage and Hour Division toll-free at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) for more information.