MANCHESTER, NH – A recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Dos Amigos Burritos LLC, a Concord restaurant operator, improperly included managers in its tip pool. The investigation led to the recovery of $61,788 in tips and liquidated damages for 39 employees to rectify the violation and compensate them properly.   

The department published a final rule, “Tip Regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act”, effective April 30, 2021. Under that rule, an employer cannot keep employees’ tips under any circumstances; managers and supervisors also may not keep tips received by employees, including through tip pools. This prohibition applies even if tipped workers are paid hourly at rates equal to or above the full minimum wage. 

“Tipped workers in the food services industry rely on their hard-earned tips to make ends meet. Restaurant employers must understand that keeping workers’ tips or diverting a portion of these tips to managers or supervisors in a tip pool is illegal,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. “To avoid costly mistakes, like those found in this investigation, employers should contact us to discuss their responsibilities.”

The division’s investigation also identified three 15-year-old minors working in violation of the FLSA’s child labor hours restrictions at Dos Amigos Burritos’ Portsmouth, New Hampshire, location. The restaurant allowed employees under 16 years of age to work more than five hours on a school day and as late as 10 p.m. The employer paid $2,073 in civil money penalties to resolve these child labor violations.

The FLSA limits the hours youth under the age of 16 can work in non-agricultural occupations and outside of school hours to no more than 3 hours on a school day or 8 hours on non-school days; no more than 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours in non-school weeks; not prior to 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except between June 1 through Labor Day when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.

Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

For more information about the FLSA, restaurant employment and restaurant workers, or 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 and a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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