OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma restaurant recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve claims that the company violated various provisions of federal labor and wage laws, including failure to pay overtime wages to dozens of workers. As part of the agreement, Oklahoma City-based Meers Store & Restaurant Inc. and its owner will pay back a combined $335,687 in back wages and liquidated damages to 84 current and former employees as well as an additional $42,190 civil penalty for its willful violations of federal law.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Meers Store & Restaurant wilfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it failed to pay workers one and a half times their average hourly rate of pay for overtime work. Under the FLSA, companies must pay their employees premium overtime wages for the time workers spend on the job above the national 40-hour per week overtime threshold. When these employees did work overtime, the restaurant only paid them their regular hourly pay without the premium wages added.
“Employees are entitled to receive all wages they have legally earned, and minors deserve the workplace protections put in place for them by law,” said Betty Campbell, Wage and Hour Division Administrator. “This case demonstrates the Department of Labor’s commitment not only to workers, but also to providing employers the tools they need to comply with the law. Our work levels the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”
The investigation found that the restaurant further failed to pay the federal $7.25 minimum wage to employees working as table bussers, most of them minors, who were forced to work for tips alone without hourly pay. Meers Stores also violated the child labor laws of the FLSA. These violations subsequently resulted in Meers Store violating the FLSA’s recordkeeping provisions that require companies to produce accurate payroll statements detailing all the hours worked and wages earned by employees.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
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