KEY WEST, FL – Business owners must understand their legal responsibilities to pay overtime when it comes to their workers, as well as any workers employed through staffing companies, to avoid costly violations, a lesson learned by the operators of three Key West restaurants.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigations found overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act when Fish Dance Inc., Thirsty Mermaid LLC, and Antonia’s KW LLC, operators of Little Pearl, Thirsty Mermaid, and Antonia’s Key West respectively, failed to pay overtime to workers employed through a staffing company, as well as their own workers, when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The investigation also found Antonia’s paid one employee a flat salary with no overtime pay, resulting in additional overtime violations when the employee worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Paradise Hospitality Solutions LLC, a Key West staffing agency, was used by all three restaurants. When workers are jointly employed by staffing companies and their clients, both are responsible for compliance and both are liable for back wages, liquidated damages, and civil penalties if there are violations of Fair Labor Standards Act violations.
The department recovered $162,310 in back wages for 45 workers in the three restaurants to resolve the violations.
“Essential workers deserve to take home every penny of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin, in Miami. “Leased or temporary employees are entitled to the same workplace rights as all other employees. We remain committed to ensuring that all workers get paid the wages they have earned, and to enforcing the law so that employers compete on a level playing field.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, 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.