Employer: El Guerrero Mexican Grill Inc.

Investigation site: 9727 66th St. N., Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Investigation findings:  U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the employer paid two servers less than the cash wage required by law and made illegal deductions from tips, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The violations caused the employer to lose the tip credit which resulted in additional minimum wage violations. El Guerrero also failed to compensate the two servers for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. In addition, the employer paid some kitchen staff a salary for all hours worked, failing to pay the required overtime rates when they worked more than 40 hours in the workweek.

Back Wages Recovered: $38,755 in back wages for six workers.

Quote: “When employers take a tip credit toward the payment of wages for their employees, they must adhere to all requirements of the law. Failing to do so can result in a costly lesson,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa, Florida. “Employers who fail to realize this and continue to pay workers less that they have earned can quickly find themselves struggling to maintain the workforce needed to stay in business.” 

Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers numerous online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website.

Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.

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