TAMPA, FL – A Tampa restaurant enterprise has paid $102,894 in back wages to 11 workers after a federal investigation found the employer illegally denied them overtime pay.

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators determined Sarione Restaurant Inc. – operating as Sarione Korean Restaurant – and Sarione Grill Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by incorrectly classifying cooks and dishwashers as exempt from overtime requirements, and paying them fixed semi-monthly salaries, regardless of the number of hours they worked. By doing so, the employer failed to pay these workers overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. In addition, the employer failed to record the number of hours the employees worked.

“Employers must understand that paying workers a fixed salary does not automatically excuse them from paying overtime,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff, in Tampa, Florida. “Unless a specific exemption applies, even workers paid on a salary basis must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The essential workers in this case deserve to be paid every cent they have earned. The U.S. Department of Labor encourages all employers to contact their nearest Wage and Hour Division office for assistance understanding their responsibilities under 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.

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