JACKSONVILLE, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor has found $118,042 in back wages and liquidated damages due to 10 employees of a Jacksonville restaurant operator who forced servers to work for tips alone, denied overtime wages to others and failed to keep accurate records of the hours employees worked.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that E & E Quezada Food Services Corp., operator of Rosy’s Mexican Restaurant, failed to pay its servers any wages, forcing them to rely on customer tips as their sole compensation. The division also found Rosy’s failed to pay overtime at a rate of one and one-half the rate of pay to dishwashers, cooks and certain servers for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Investigators discovered the employer also failed to maintain accurate payroll records, including starting and ending times, as well as the total daily and weekly hours worked, as the law requires.
The division also found Rosy’s allowed a 15-year-old employee to work after 7 p.m. during the school week, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s work hour standards for workers under 16.
“By denying servers a cash wage and forcing them to live on tips alone and denying other workers their overtime pay, Rosy’s Mexican Restaurant made it harder for these employees, who depend on every dollar, to take care of themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Office Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division is available to help workers and employers alike understand their rights and responsibilities. Violations like those found in this case can be easily avoided.”
Agency investigators learned of the employer’s practices through the Employment Education and Outreach alliance. The alliance is a collaboration of community and nongovernmental organizations, including state, local, and federal agencies and Hispanic consulates that provides information and assistance to Spanish-speaking employees and employers regarding workplace rights and responsibilities. Workers and employers can reach EMPLEO by calling (877) 522-9832 or (877) 55-AYUDA.
The Wage and Hour Division provides multiple tools to help employers understand their responsibilities, and offers confidential compliance assistance to anyone with questions about how to comply with the law. Workers can call the division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
For information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the agency’s website to 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.