Ongoing enforcement initiatives conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that focused on the restaurant industry in California have uncovered significant violations of the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Several restaurant investigations were launched in 2012. The Labor Department recovered $672,333 in unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation for 273 employees working as cooks, bus boys, servers and other restaurant staff.
Common violations uncovered during these investigations included not paying employees for all hours worked; paying employees cash wages “off the books;” paying fixed salaries for all hours worked, without regard to minimum wage and overtime requirements; missing payroll or failing to pay employees on scheduled pay days; and not maintaining accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours.
“We have found widespread labor violations among restaurants in well-known tourist areas in San Francisco and throughout Los Angeles County. This culture of noncompliance adversely impacts the wages and working conditions of many low-wage, vulnerable workers,” said Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator.