HOUSTON, Texas — A Texas burger 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 current and former workers.
As part of the agreement, Houston-based Bernie’s Burger Bus will pay back a combined $62,754 in unpaid wages and interest to 49 servers, cooks, and dishwashers.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Bernie’s Burger Bus violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it failed to pay workers one and a half times their average hourly rates of pay when working overtime.
Under the FLSA, companies must pay non-overtime exempt employees premium overtime pay when working above the national 40-hour per week overtime threshold.
“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring employees receive all the wages they have rightfully earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field,” said Betty Campbell, Southwest Regional Wage and Hour Division Administrator. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to enforce the law. We encourage employers to use the numerous resources WHD offers – including online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to our local offices – to ensure they have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law.”
Instead of earning premium overtime pay, the workers in this case earned only straight time, which is understood as their regular hourly wages and does not include extra compensation for bonuses or working more than 40 hours in a week.
Furthermore, the restaurant failed to combine hours that employees had worked at two separate locations for the company when determining whether overtime was due.
These violations also resulted in the company failing to keep accurate payroll records which count all the hours worked and wages earned by employees.
The restaurant also failed to display required FLSA information posters at its worksites and did not maintain records of employee addresses.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
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