Human Resources Consulting - Columbia SC

Charleston Area Restaurant Chain to Pay $1,179,045 to 119 Employees for Overtime, Minimum Wage and Record Keeping Violations

Recently, Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, Columbia, South Carolina District Office, found that an employer violated the overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at 13 of its owned restaurants in the Charleston area.

On April 18, 2016, the presiding judge approved a consent judgement between the DOL and the restaurant owners. The owners will pay a total of $1,179,045 to 119 employees. The amount includes $589,523 in back wages as well as an additional $589,523 in liquidated damages for all affected employees.

The investigation found that the employer required servers to give a percentage of their tips back to the employer. The investigation also found that three servers worked only for tips. At some locations, the employees were required to purchase their own uniforms which had the effect of reducing their earnings below the minimum wage. Investigators also found that the employer failed to pay cooks, dishwashers and runners for all hours worked which resulted in these employees not earning the required minimum wage for all of their hours and not receiving time and one half (overtime) for all hours worked over 40 within a one week period of time. Lastly, the employers failed to keep legally mandated time and attendance records for each employee.

It is important for all employers to remember that tips are the property of the employee who receives them. The FLSA also requires that employees receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 within a one week period of time. Additionally, all employers must maintain accurate time records (clock in and clock out), attendance and payroll records for each employee.

A company’s best defense against the potential expense and aggravation related to federal or state law violations is to proactively review and revise as needed their Human Resources policies, handbooks, hiring procedures, compensation, benefits, training programs, communications tools and other functions. The professionals of PHHR are ready to assist your organization maintain compliance with the latest state and federal mandates.

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Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Office: (803) 481-9533
Cell: (803) 305-8962 

Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC