WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $38,755 in back wages for six workers at a Florida restaurant after finding minimum wage and overtime violations.
The department's Wage and Hour Division found that El Guerrero Mexican Grill in Pinellas Park 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.
"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. “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.”