OMAHA — A Nebraska restaurant recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve claims that the company violated several provisions of federal labor and wage laws, including failure to pay overtime wages to several of its workers.
As part of the settlement, Auburn-based El Portal Mexican Restaurant will pay back a combined $203,884 in back wages and liquidated damages to 23 current and former workers.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that El Portal violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it failed to pay its workers one and a half times their average hourly rate of pay when working overtime. Under the FLSA, companies must pay their employees premium overtime wages for the time these workers spend on the job above the national 40-hour overtime threshold.
“Ensuring employees receive their hard-earned wages and assisting employers with understanding their obligations under federal labor laws is fundamental to the mission of the Wage and Hour Division,” said Richard Tesarek, Wage and Hour Assistant District Director in Omaha. “Our enforcement ensures employers compete on a level playing field and protects employees. Employers can avoid wage violations by contacting the Wage and Hour Division confidentially for assistance.”
The Wage and Hour Division’s investigation looked in the restaurant’s business practices at locations across Nebraska, including Auburn and Nebraska City, and found that kitchen staff earned only a flat, weekly salary regardless of how many hours they actually worked. These practices also resulted in some of the kitchen staff earning less than the national $7.25 minimum wage because their average hourly wages fell below this amount.
While the Labor Department and its investigators do their best to recover back pay for workers, they cannot investigate and prosecute every single instance of wage theft across the country. Fortunately, the FLSA allows wage theft victims to hire an unpaid overtime attorney to file lawsuits in federal court and recover back pay with interest, damages, and attorneys fees.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.