GULF BREEZE, FL – For low-wage earners, every minute spent working equals much-needed income. When employers fail to account for all the hours employees work, as was the case with a Gulf Breeze restaurant, these workers find it more difficult to provide for themselves and their families.
An investigation of Rio Bravo Mexican Restaurant Gulf Breeze Inc. by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered $19,008 in wages for 24 workers. The division found that the employer, who does business as Rio Bravo, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by:
Failing to pay tipped employees for all the hours that they worked, which led to a minimum wage violation. Rather than paying according to when their shifts began, the employer did not pay servers until their first customers arrived.
Failing to pay required overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the employer paid semi-monthly without determining whether employees worked overtime on a single workweek basis, as the law requires.
Failing to maintain complete and accurate records of the number of hours employees worked.
“Employers that pay workers on a semi-monthly schedule are still required to keep time records on a weekly basis in order to pay overtime correctly when employees work more than 40 hours in a given workweek,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando. “Employees are entitled to 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 with understanding their responsibilities under the law. Violations such as those found in this case can be avoided.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.