Florida Restaurant Agrees to Pay $30,878 in Back Wages to Resolve an Unpaid Overtime Case
On June 26th, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a Florida restaurant has agreed to pay $30,878 in back wages to dozens of employees in order to settle a wage and hour claim. According to allegations investigated by the federal agency, Guavate Restaurant (Orlando, FL) violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—improperly underpaying at least 42 workers. Below, our West Palm Beach employment lawyers provide a more detailed overview of the allegations raised against the Central Florida restaurant.
Wage and Hour Settlement: More Than 40 Employees Receive Back Pay
Federal regulators initiated an investigation into the wage and hour practices of Guavate Restaurant after receiving a complaint that the company was out of compliance with the requirements of the FLSA. In its investigation, the DOL confirmed several wage and hour violations. Specifically, the agency alleged that the Orlando-based restaurant:
- Failed to Pay Overtime: The primary violation being investigated by the DOL was the Florida restaurant’s alleged failure to pay overtime wages to eligible workers. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must be paid time and a half (1.5x) four hours past 40. The investigation revealed that the restaurant regularly paid people at straight time rates—regardless of hours worked. Federal regulators found a systematic underpayment of workers.
- Violated Record Keeping Rules: Employers have a legal obligation to accurately record the hours of non-exempt employees. Failure to do so makes it nearly impossible to determine when an employee crosses the threshold to receive overtime pay. The DOL assessed that the restaurant consistently failed to comply with record keeping regulations. Record keeping requirements are strict: Employers must ensure that they are keeping track of non-exempt employee time down to the minute. Covered workers cannot be required to do tasks ‘off the clock’.
- Committed Minimum Wage Violations: Finally, the restaurant was also found to have violated the minimum wage rights of two employees. Neither of these two employees receive their final paycheck. As they were not paid at all for that period of work, their federal minimum wage rights were violated. The company has agreed to provide back pay to these workers.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is the federal office that enforces many labor regulations, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Notably, the Wage and Hour Division has the authority to take regulatory action against employers that violate the law. The agency is responsible for both protecting the rights of employees and ensuring that law-abiding businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage.
Call Our South Florida Employment Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our employment attorneys are diligent, results-oriented advocates for clients. We have experience representing employers and employees in unpaid overtime claims and other wage and hour actions. To request a confidential review of your case, please contact us now. With an office in West Palm Beach and an office in Miami, we handle employment law claims in communities around Southeastern Florida.