Investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at three Brownsville, Texas, restaurants have led Chavez All Natural Inc. – operating as 100% Natural – to pay $39,220 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 25 employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements.
WHD found the employer paid some employees in cash, off the books, and failed to pay them the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Additionally, the employer paid employees in cash straight time rates for overtime hours, also off the records. The lack of recordkeeping for these employees also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements.
“Employers must pay employees all the wages they have legally earned,”said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nathan Barrow in McAllen, Texas.“We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools our Agency offers to help them understand their obligations and to avoid violations.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, electronic toolkits, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD. Employers can find additional compliance assistance information on the Wage and Hour Division website.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation’s workforce. WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.