FLAGLER BEACH, FL – A Flagler Beach bar and grill’s decision to keep portions of employees’ credit card tips to cover cash drawer shortages and customer walkouts voided their ability to receive a tip credit and pay each affected worker less than the full federal minimum wage.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Johnny D’s Beach Bar & Grill responsible for paying these workers the full minimum wage. The agency also found the employer paid overtime at improper rates. The employer’s actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $26,645 in back wages for 16 workers.
In the course of its investigation, the division learned that Johnny D’s allowed a 17-year-old worker to clean a dough mixer, an FLSA violation of occupations banned for minor employees under the age of 18. The employer also failed to keep an accurate record of the date of birth for the minor employee. The agency assessed the employer a $1,864 civil money penalty to address the violations.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act specifies what employers can and can’t do with tips their workers earn in return for good service. When they disregard these rules, as Johnny D’s Bar & Grill did, the outcome can be costly,” said Wage and Hour Division District Office Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “We encourage employers with tipped workers to review their pay practices to ensure compliance, and to contact us with any questions they have to avoid violations.”
In order to address child labor violations in the restaurant industry, the Southeast Region is hosting a special lunch and learn webinar for employers, minor-aged workers and their parents, school representatives and other interested stakeholders on Thursday, February 10th from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Participation is free, but registration is required.
The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers and workers to contact the agency directly with questions or use free, online resources to understand their workplace responsibilities and rights, including fact sheets such as Deductions from Wages under the FLSA. Individuals can call the division confidentially with questions regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243)
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.