Restaurant Workers to Receive $168K in Back Wages

A Mississippi buffet restaurant allowed their average pay to fall below the minimum wage.

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $168,864 in back wages and liquidated damages for 17 buffet restaurant workers who were denied minimum wage.

Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division found that Super King Buffet Inc. paid some kitchen employees a monthly salary that allowed their average hourly pay to fall below federal minimum wage requirements, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employer also failed to provide evidence that it paid two servers their cash wage, which invalidated the claimed tip credit.

“Paying a worker a monthly salary does not relieve an employer from their obligation to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage or overtime premiums, should those apply,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “This violation is all-too-common in the restaurant industry and that must stop. Agreements with workers that violate pay practices governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act are illegal schemes.”

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