HOUSTON, TX — A Texas restaurant chain recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve claims that the company failed to properly pay dozens of workers all their proper overtime wages and provide accurate payroll records to employees. As part of the settlement, Houston-based DC Broadway Inc., which does business as Don Carlos Mexican Restaurants, agreed to pay a combined $97,080 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 24 employees to resolve claims that the company broke federal laws on overtime pay and record keeping.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined DC Broadway failed to pay workers one and a half times the individual’s average hourly rate of pay when working more than 40 hours at company locations during the week. When workers split time between two or more locations, the company did not base overtime calculations on the employee’s total hours worked, but rather only paid overtime if the worker spent more than 40 hours at a single location.
“Employers that pay employees less than what they have legally earned short change their workers and gain an unfair advantage over competitors that abide by the law,” said Betty Campbell, Southwest Regional Administrator for the Wage and Hour Division. “We are committed to helping employers understand their obligations, and encourage employers and employees alike to reach out to us for guidance or assistance.”
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers must be paid overtime based on how many hours they work for a single company, not how many hours spent at a particular location or job site, since they are all owned by the same business. Often times, unscrupulous business will create separate entities to pay workers out to disguise the fact that employees are working overtime for a company by paying up to 40 hours of work from one corporate entity and then the remainder from another, all at straight time rates.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
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