Wage Theft Violations Found at 152 Tampa Bay Restaurants DOL Investigation Finds

07/09/2014 (press release: CAWageHourLaw) // Eric Grover

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) uncovered the secret 152 restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area have been keeping—they haven’t been paying their employees federally mandated minimum wages, reports Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover of the Keller Grover law firm.

A popular chain restaurant in the Tampa area, Frenchy’s, was among the 152 restaurants that violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates employees must be paid at least minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The restaurants are now facing over $1 million in back wages and damages for the 1,518 affected employees.

According to the DOL investigation, employers maintained illegal tip pools, which often resulted in servers and waiters being compensated below minimum or overtime wage. Instead, they were paid regular wages for overtime hours, as well as having illegal deductions from their paychecks and a failure to maintain proper records. Child labor law violations were also found at some of the accused restaurants.

“Underpaying and improperly paying workers cheats them out of their hard-earned income, making it unnecessarily difficult for them to make ends meet,” said Wayne Kotowski, southeast regional administrator for the Wage and Hour division to WFTS-TV. “Unfortunately, these types of labor violations are all too common in the restaurant industry. That’s why we are committed to protecting restaurant workers and ensuring a fair and level playing field for those responsible employers who play by the rules.”

“Low wage workers, like servers and waiters, are the most frequently targeted group of the workforce for wage theft by employers. Unfortunately, most low wage workers don’t know their rights and have no idea they are being cheated at the hands of their employer,” says Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover. “This is just another example of how employers are taking advantage of their lack of knowledge of labor laws and their rights. It’s so important that if you’re in the workforce, in any position, that you know your rights so you won’t become the next victim.”

The California employment attorneys at the Los Angeles wage and hour law firm of Keller Grover have been helping victims of wage theft recover lost wages since 2005. To learn more about wage laws and if you’ve been a victim contact, Keller Grover at 888.601. 6939.

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