YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A federal court has ruled that a suit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against a buffet restaurant owned by televangelist Rev. Ernest Angley may move forward. The suit alleges that the restaurant’s employees were misclassified as volunteers and that the restaurant also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) child labor provisions.
According to the DOL, Cathedral Buffet and Banquet Center classified some workers as volunteers to avoid paying them any wages. The Wage and Hour Division has stated that, as stated by the U.S. Supreme Court, FLSA was not intended to stamp all persons as employees who, without any express or implied compensation agreement, might work for their own advantage on the premises of another. DOL follows this judicial guidance in the case of individuals serving as unpaid volunteers in various community services, who will not be considered employees by non-profit organizations that receive their service. However, employees may not volunteer services to for-profit private sector employers under FLSA.
Child Labor Provisions
Another of DOL’s claims state that the buffet allowed minors between the ages of 14 to 16 to work more than three hours on school days, more than eight hours on non-school days, and to work beyond 7 p.m. during the school year.
Under FLSA, minors older than 14 but under 16 years of age may be employed in specified occupations outside of school hours for limited periods of time each day and each week. At 16 years of age, youth may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupations other than one declared to be hazardous by the DOL. 14 or 15-year-old minors may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs under certain parameters. Work hours for these minors are limited to three hours on a school day, 18 hours in a school week, eight hours on a non-school day, and 40 hours in a non-school week. Additionally, they can only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they can work up to 9 p.m.
Most employees are covered by FLSA and should receive minimum wage and overtime. Employers who willfully refuse to pay employees as required by FLSA are liable for back pay and liquidated damages. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been deprived of your wage rights. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.