MOUNT DORA, FL – Diners at Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill locations in Mount Dora and Orange City never knew that the restaurants’ operator was sharing tips intended for servers with cooks in violation of federal laws regulating the use of money in tip pools.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found that Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by including cooks in its tip pool illegally. When an employer takes credit for workers’ tips toward its minimum wage obligation to those workers, non-tipped employees, like cooks, cannot participate in a tip-sharing agreement.
A review of the restaurants’ records led to the division’s recovery of $58,074 for 45 workers denied their rightful wages.
“Restaurant servers worked hard to keep their employers’ businesses open amid pandemic risks,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “By misusing its tip pool, Fiesta Grande’s operator shortchanged its tipped workers who depend on tips for good service and hard work to provide for themselves and their families. The U.S. Department of Labor will act to enforce the law and ensure workers are paid all of their legally earned wages.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, including compliance assistance toolkits, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). 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.