West Palm Beach Restaurant Chain Agrees to Pay $115,966 to Settle Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations
On August 24th, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced the results of its investigation into a West Palm Beach-based restaurant chain. Hurricane Wings Management LLC agreed to pay approximately 160 workers more than $115,000 in financial compensation to resolve outstanding overtime claims and minimum wage claims.
The wage and hour case was related to improper actions the company took during the COVID-19 shut downs. Workers complained that they were not paid on time during the early stages of the pandemic. Below, our West Palm Beach employment lawyers explain what we know about the allegations raised against the employer.
Restaurant Missed Payroll After Temporarily Closing for COVID-19
In March and April, many businesses, including restaurants, were temporarily shut down in South Florida and throughout the United States. The government restrictions were imposed in an effort to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Several Hurricane Grill & Wings locations were affected by these shut down orders. The Department of Labor launched an inquiry into allegations that the company failed to pay wages on time following the COVID-19 restrictions. Specifically, two locations operated by the company were reviewed by the federal agency, one in West Palm Beach, FL and one in Winter Haven, FL.
The DOL’s investigation determined that the company missed its payroll and did not pay any wages for hours worked in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Through its failures the employer violated both overtime laws and minimum wage regulations. It agreed to pay $115,966 to settle wage and hour claims with nearly 160 workers.
Fair Labor Standards Act: Overtime, Minimum Wage Must Be Paid On Time
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is very clear on payroll requirements: Companies must pay all wages owed for hours worked during an employee’s regularly scheduled pay period. This includes compensation for the full amount of overtime pay that was earned during a specific reporting period. Failure to do so is a violation of federal law.
While the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government shutdowns created serious hardship for many businesses, it is not a justification to delay payment to employees for hours that they already worked. Employers that miss payroll can be held legally liable for additional damages through a wage and hour claim. The Department of Labor encourages employers to review their legal responsibilities under federal law and ensure that they have the proper policies in place.
Call Our West Palm Beach, FL Employment Lawyers Right Away
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida unpaid overtime attorneys are reliable and effective advocates for our clients. With experience representing both employers and employees, we are able to see cases from every angle. You need professional guidance and support. Call us now to learn more about what we can do for you. With offices located in West Palm Beach and Miami, we handle overtime claims throughout Southeastern Florida, including in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.